Shawnee residents will now have to arrange bulky item pickups after city changes Tidy Town program

Tidy Town, Shawnee’s popular curbside bulky item pickup program, is no longer an annual citywide event. Instead, the city will instead require trash pickup companies to schedule individual pickups with their customers at least once a year. File photo.

Tidy Town, Shawnee’s popular curbside bulky item pickup program, is no longer an annual citywide event. Instead, the city will now require trash companies to schedule individual pickups with their customers at least once a year.

After several weeks of deliberating with trash haulers on the logistics and feasibility of Tidy Town, the Shawnee City Council on Oct. 12 voted 5-3 to allow trash haulers and residents to arrange their own individual pickup day once a year.

Councilmembers Eric Jenkins, Mike Kemmling and Tammy Thomas voted against the motion.

Change prompted by trash haulers’ concerns

Every spring, the city and licensed trash haulers offered bulky item pickup over the course of a few weekends. Residents could place bulky items on the curb outside their homes on their designated pickup day.

Trash haulers over the summer reported to Shawnee city staff that Tidy Town was no longer a feasible option. The trash companies have phased out the type of equipment that can pick up bulky items curbside, instead opting for a cost-effective truck that only requires one person to operate, according to city documents.

In previous meetings, some city councilmembers said they opposed flexible scheduling and preferred Tidy Town the way it is.

Citing its popularity among residents, some city leaders said Tidy Town has a recycling and upcycling effect as an annual event. Residents have garage sales ahead of the event, and some bulky items get picked up the night before by metal scrappers and other residents interested in reusing items.

The city council at an August committee meeting initially decided to keep Tidy Town the way it is — as an annual event — but a week later, Mayor Michelle Distler, citing the concerns from trash haulers, asked the council to reconsider its decision.

At this time, there are no changes to the city’s storm debris drop-off site, according to city documents. The city of Shawnee is also exploring a cost-sharing program with the city of Lenexa for a bulky item drop-off site, according to Shawnee city documents.