Solid Waste Sunshine Meeting Being Rescheduled Again

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
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As previously reported, the City Commission had scheduled a sunshine meeting for August 18th, to discuss solid waste. Following resident response to a Gables Insider article, the meeting was rescheduled for this week.

On August 31st’s the City’s eNews informed residents that the meeting was once again being moved.

“The Sunshine Meeting regarding solid waste on Sept. 8 will be rescheduled. Stay tuned for updates,” read the newsletter.

On September 7th, the City announced the meeting has now been scheduled for October 4th at 5:00PM.

On September 22nd, staff informed the Commission that the meeting will once again be rescheduled as they did not realize the meeting fell on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism.

Stay tuned to Gables Insider for a new date…


103 thoughts on “Solid Waste Sunshine Meeting Being Rescheduled Again

  1. Lucy, Why would you want to change my way of life that I’ve enjoyed for over 35 years in the City Beautiful? After a hard day of work, I love working in my garden. It helps me relax. Birds need places to stop to rest, eat, and drink! I help provide that space. A recent article in Coral Gables Magazine says that birds, during Spring migration, flock to the City of Coral Gables with its expansive tree canopy. It is an attractive stopover for rest and refueling with the city’s healthy mix of native trees and shrubs that are bird magnets.

    Unfortunately, this week I caught myself eyeballing trees and foliage that I would consider cutting down to reduce the amount of, “light yard clippings,” to fit in a 96-gallon trash bin. If all we have are trash bins and no trash pits, it will have a chilling effect on many residents like myself. Landscapers will charge a premium with the increase in demand. The bottom line, people will simplify their yards by cutting down trees and foliage. Not everyone wants a yard boy, truck, or trailer.

    Our system is not outdated. The city provides a premium service that encourages the planting of trees, restores our ecosystems, reduces the amount of stormwater runoff, reduces erosion and pollution in our waterways. Trees provide food, protection, and homes for birds and animals.

    In comparison, when I drive around by car or see it by air, there is a reduced tree canopy in many areas around Miami-Dade, especially in neighborhoods with the average 50’ X 100’ lot sizes. It was not like that growing up in my old neighborhood near the Miami River before trash bins existed. Since then, the tree canopy there has been greatly reduced, but there are plenty of trash bins in front of homes, and streets. If you don’t believe me, just drive around the county. For an even closer view, try driving north on Grenada Blvd. under the stone arch and across SW 8th street. You’ll arrive in the City of Miami where you’ll find that the environment immediately changes. Yes, there are trees but not like the Gables. The difference is less foliage in people’s yards. Instead, you’ll find plenty of trash bins and they are ugly!

    Let’s do the math. You say there are 20,000 trash pits in the city. There is a shortfall of four million dollars per year. 4,000,000 divided by 20,000 households equals a $200 increase per household, per year, if the numbers are true. So what’s the problem?

    Eliminating our premium trash service and replacing it with an inferior trash bin service will, over time, have a negative effect on our tree canopy and our wildlife. It will also introduce new problems and an unsightly mess of huge trash bins.

    I’ll end this note with a quote by the late Lamar Louise Curry, a member of the Coral Gables Garden Club and an integral member of the Coral Gables community. “A good action would have a good reaction, and likewise a bad action a bad reaction.”

  2. Lucy, Why so hostile? After a hard day of work, I love working in my garden. It helps me relax. Why would you want to change my way of life that I’ve enjoyed for 35 years in the City Beautiful? By the way, Birds need places to stop, rest, eat, and drink!! We can provide this for them in our yard! If all we have are trash bins many residents will simplify their yards and cut things down. Not everyone wants a yard boy. Save Our Tree Canopy! Save our Wildlife, Save Our Trash Pits!
    Here is a link to a funny youtube video you might enjoy and help you relax. Just cut and paste.

  3. By the way, you’re talking to somebody that not only does not need a trash pit but also doesn’t need a bin. I have lived here 55 years and have never thrown my trash out in the street. God forbid! Unfortunately it’s those making the mess that require the supervision. If all residents that live in Coral Gables would be required to have their landscaper haul away their clippings, then nobody would need a bin, just like myself!
    This City is littered with junk. We have pits in front of live electrical boxes! Your trash pits do nothing but encourage landscapers to bring in their clippings from other areas. I have the perfect solution! If you want your pit then you should pay more money than those that do not utilize this outdated system. Problem solved. Why should I and so many others, be forced to pay for the excess clippings of residents such as yourself that refuse to pay a landscaper to haul it away. In the end you’re part of the problem and NOT the solution. What a novel idea! I think I will suggest it to the commission.

  4. Lucy, I did address the possible fee increases. 90-gallon bins is not enough for some residents. The increase in a private service to pick up the difference will be greater than a fee increase. Did I not mention that fees in the City of West Miami I’m told by my friend Pedro is less than $500. Why is that? They have curb service twice a week but they do charge extra like bulk pick up and household items. My friend John lives in Palm Springs North in unicorporated Miami-Dade. He has no curb service or bins. Everyone in his neighborhood has pick up trucks or trailers and haul their debris to a local transfer station. That is not a good solution. In Little Gables, they have those ugly bins but also can call for bulk pick up. Those piles get huge and worse than any of our piles. There is no perfect answer but trash bins will only make the Gables look ugly and cost more for many residents. Leave well enough alone.

  5. Lucy, I did address the possible fee increases. 90-gallon bins is not enough for some residents. The increase in a private service to pick up the difference will be greater than a fee increase. Did I not mention that fees in the City of West Miami I’m told by my friend Pedro is less than $500. Why is that? They have curb service twice a week but they do charge extra like bulk pick up and household items. My friend John lives in Palm Springs North in unicorporated Miami-Dade. He has no curb service or bins. Everyone in his neighborhood has pick up trucks or trailers and haul their debris to a local transfer station. That is not a good solution. In Little Gables, they have those ugly bins but also can call for bulk pick up. Those piles get huge and worse than any of our piles. There is no perfect answer but trash bins will only make the Gables look ugly and cost more for many residents.

  6. Al, I disagree. Then I guess the entire state of Florida lives in a fantasy land and you believe we have this all figured out? That’s laughable. Why are you not addressing the fact that our fees are not enough to pay for our garbage service? Why are you not addressing the fact that the City has to subsidize our fees by another $4 million dollars EVERY year! Why are you not addressing that we have the most expensive waste fees in the entire State of Florida! Our system does not work. Gables residents litter and the amount of clippings they leave on the swale ALONG with what landscapers bring is going to cause an increase in our fees. Remaining the status quo is not an option and if you believe otherwise that is where you’re dreaming..

  7. Lucy, a bag of dog feces, a plastic cup, some sort of empty can, and a plastic bag with some unidentifiable content is a drop in the bucket compared to those huge hideous 90-gallon trash bin eyesores I see all over Miami-Dade County. These items you mention are usually dumped by contractors who are hired by city residents to mow the yard or paint the walls. It’s unfortunate but many people are litterbugs. When I see something out of place I pick it up and put it in the appropriate garbage or recycle bin. Not everyone does it. Do you think the homeowner who ignores that kind of litter in their swale is going to police their own 90-gallon trash bin? No way, most people are at work all day. For many, it will be beneath them. Code enforcement will be slack on enforcing more rules. You are making a mountain out of a molehill.

    Let’s talk about reality and not fantasy land. This is what I see happen all over Miami-Dade, including Little Gables, which is a perfect case study in my neck of the woods. I did some quick research, and this is what I found.

    “Automating” is mechanizing collection by replacing human labor with mechanical labor. It uses dedicated containers picked up or dumped by flippers and arms.
    Automating also means new practices on the consumer’s part and higher equipment purchase costs. The decision to automate involves weighing tradeoffs. For example, because automation requires only one person per truck, significant reductions in salaries, medical insurance, a span of control and managerial problems are possible.

    Automated systems are less flexible than manual ones. For example, the huge bins must be taken to the street and not left in the back yard; cars parked in the wrong place will be a problem, and not everything will fit neatly into the bin. Automated systems demand speed, and speed demands uniformity.

    What does the equipment cost? A fully equipped 30-cubic yard truck is at least $145,000, compared with about $68,000 for a 25-cubic yard packer. Automated vehicles are usually a little larger. They can collect in excess of 500 to 800 homes per day. Automated vehicles can collect a larger payload, faster, but at a higher initial cost, plus increased maintenance costs. Containers will cost around $155 each.

    Researching all this just tells me your dream idea will only change things from one mess to another. This is what I see all over Miami-Dade. One driver, one truck. The driver never gets out of the truck. The 90-galloon bins sit there all day until the homeowner arrives from work. Maybe they’ll put it away or wait till morning. Many of these huge bins are tucked away, but many are tucked up against the wall in front of the house all week for all of us to “admire.” I see this everywhere. If you think this will make things cleaner, prettier and saves money, you are dreaming. I say, Save Our Tree Canopy! Save our Wildlife, Save Our Trash Pits!

  8. Al I get where you are coming from … however, I can send you several photos I have submitted to the commission with the filth that are inside these trash pits. I call them the “compulsory items” made up of a bag of dog feces, a plastic cup, some sort of empty can and a plastic bag with some unidentifiable content. Just the other day I took a picture of a half eaten Burger King bag just thrown inside the pit. The next day it was covered over with a 28 foot pile. People here litter. If trash pits were kept to one cubic yard and for green matter only, I would not find them offensive. The issue is that the majority of them are not in compliance.. The majority of people with a standard 50×100 lot will shove a pit by a tree or in front of an electrical box or utility pole. North Gables is especially congested but the trash is everywhere. We are picking up much more than we should. Surely you must agree that we have a trash problem when the City has to subsidize our fees every year by almost $4 million dollars. The 700 and change that you and I pay are not enough. Ask the Mayor what our fees would be and without hesitation, he will tell you easily $1500 to $1600 per year. I don’t know what’s going to happen but something needs to be done.

  9. Lucy, the residents of our city beautiful pay for services, and in return, the City of Coral Gables provides those services. The issue is, the quality of services varies over the years. Many times, in my opinion, not for the better as I’ve stated before. Fortunately, the city’s decision to recycle cardboard boxes instead of dumping them in the trash pits is a step forward. Now it’s the Department of Code Enforcement’s job to make sure the rules are followed with a notice of violation.
    Regarding my mentioning Little Gables… Over the years I’ve traveled through there regularly navigating around those hideous green or blue 90-gallon trash bins on my way to CG Elementary, CG Middle School, the UPS Store, and the bank. Doing so makes me aware of how ugly and hazardous those bins are. We are not alone. Looking west there is the City of West Miami where one resident told me their annual sanitation fee is under $500.
    The City provides rear yard refuse collection for residential homes within the City. Citizens are allowed 4 containers with a 34-gallon capacity for household garbage. Also, the City includes 4 containers of 34-gallon capacity for house and yard trash twice a week.  
    Included in the weekly collection is a bulk collection of yard trash or clippings up to 8 cubic yards at no additional charge. Placement of excess trash or tree trimmings must be located in the public grass area in front of your property also known as the “parkway”. They say to please refrain from placing items on the driveway or the street. White goods and furniture are collected at $25.00 per item.
    Wonder why their trash collection is so much cheaper. If our rates go up it will be a heck of a lot less expensive than paying for a private service to haul all my “light clippings” every week.
    On Tuesday night I walked several blocks around my neighborhood in North Gables.
    The pits were relatively empty with some having tree clippings and palm fronds. No boxes or household items were seen. Of course by Thursday night that changed since our pick-up day is designated for Friday morning.
    Growing up in the City of Miami we had a trash pit in front of my childhood home. Now the folks living there use 90-gallon bins. The houses still look more or less the same but not the tree canopy. Gone are the mango trees in the backyard and the avocado trees next door. This is the same street where I once watched Seminole Indians in full regalia walk up my street from the Miami River under the shade of majestic oak trees and blooming Royal Poinciana trees on their way to the corner store. They never had to maneuver around any old trash bins. Today, the grove of oak trees are gone and only one Royal Poinciana tree remains. I now realize after reading this thread the possibility that maybe these folks could not stuff their “light clippings” in a 90-gallon bin so they cut the trees down instead. That’s why I will continue to chant… Save Our Tree Canopy! Save our Wildlife, Save Our Trash Pits!

  10. Lucy, I don’t think trash bags are allowed, but I could be wrong, so no. I’d rather see it natural the “light clippings” blend in with the environment better. My trash pit shared with my neighbor is a minimum of five feet from any tree, there are no utility poles, street signs, storm drains, or fire hydrant in my swale. For those residents that have a 50 by 100-foot lot that five-foot rule may become more difficult. By the way, the city’s Black Olive trees that line my street sure shed a lot of leaves and dead tree limbs. It all rakes nicely into a big pile in my pit. Yes, I rack. I hate those blowers yard maintenance service people use that blow a cloud of dust in the air that lands all over my open porch. The city should ban them!

  11. Totally get it, I hate it when that happens. Let me ask you a question, can you bag your clippings? I have a very strong feeling that’s what may happen. There are many trash pits that are located in wrong places.

  12. Lucy, I wrote a lengthy reply then poof, lost it all while using my smart phone. I’ll rewrite again tomorrow. It’s late so I’ll highlight a quote from JOSE I IPARRAGUIRRE from September 6, 2022.
    “Enforce existing codes. But regularly allowing residents to have their landscaping trash removed promotes Coral Gables beauty.”
    I could not agree more!
    Save Our Tree Canopy! Save our Wildlife, Save Our Trash Pits!

  13. Oh and Al I really do hope your trash pit is kept to no larger than one cubic yard. I also hope you are a minimum of 5 feet from any tree, utility pole, street sign or storm drain. If you have a fire hydrant, you need a minimum of 10 feet. Seems to me that most of you folks that just adore your trash pit are non compliant with the City. You seem to think Coral Gables is your own personal trash collector. You all are the ones that are going to drive up the price. People like myself don’t even need a bin. But hey, we will have you to thank in the end!

  14. Dear Al, I don’t understand why you only refer to Little Gables? Why don’t you mention Cities with neighborhoods with homes that rival Coral Gables? Do you believe your garden is that much lusher than a one acre plus in Old Pinecrest? My friend has 23 oaks on property and a slew of palm trees as well as other specimens trees. There are zero trash pits in Pinecrest. Did you also know that if you leave your bin out you get fined? A trash pit is not the end all. They are filthy, poor for the environment and offensive to look at. You also do realize that should the City not subsidize your trash fee, you will end up paying close to $1500 per year? Pinecrest pays a fraction of what we pay so don’t know where you’re getting your facts from. We pick up more trash than what residents are paying for. It’s simple math… Rates will only increase. And utilizing a hurricane that destroyed the entire west of Florida is a ridiculous example. Guessing all your palm fronds and whatever other green matter you’d have in your pit would also become flying projectiles! I on the other hand wouldn’t have that problem as I don’t have a land fill in the front of my home.

  15. Lucy, if the city eliminates the trash pits and uglifies our City Beautiful with hideous and hazardous trash bins, that become projectiles during hurricanes, residents will end up paying much more. (Visit Ft. Myers and see for yourself), If a property owner cannot afford to hire a private company to haul their weekly yard clippings they’ll have to store big piles of debris in their yard. It won’t all fit in the bins. I see it happen in Little Gables and all over Miami-Dade County, big piles of debris for bulk pick-up days. You’re dreaming! Our city’s glorious tree canopy will be decimated by those who cannot afford to hire a weekly private service. Many people will simply cut trees and shrubbery down and simplify their yards so their “light clippings” will all fit in 90-gallon bins. Save Our Tree Canopy! Save our Wildlife, Save Our Trash Pits!

  16. Al it is no secret that the City has to subsidize our trash service by close to $4 million dollars every year. It’s simple math, we collect more than what residents pay for. Our fees will ultimately increase.

  17. My neighbor and I share one trash pit. When the pit gets low I request the city to fill it and they do. I recall a time when I never had to call. The city would just come and fill the pit for the two homes I have bought, sold and lived in for the last 35 years. When I walk the neighborhood the trash pits look the same they did 35 years ago except now I see fewer boxes. Once a week the city collects the trash and when I walk through the neighborhood for several blocks the pits are mostly empty unless someone has added their new yard clippings. It all looks the same today as it did 35 years ago. There is a lack of proper maintenance of city sidewalks. The city used to trim the roots to prevent the sidewalk from being lifted. They had this big machine with a big blade. Now the city just replaces the sidewalk when it becomes a hazard. A total waste of tax payers dollars that can be prevented by proper maintenance. Regarding the trimming of trees. I make a request and the city sends a crew to trim the trees. Unfortunately I do have to stay on top of the request with the city and they only trim the tree in front of my house. The whole street used to be done all at once. By the way, I googled how many households there are in the city of Coral Gables. The best I could find is 18,457. I assume there are not that many pits but if there are… I paid $780 this year for service. So lets just dumb it down to say $700 x 18,000 households = $12,600,000 collected per year, divided by 48 weeks = $262,500 per week. My math sucks so I could be wrong but it seems like the city collects a lot of money to haul out the trash.
    With that said, I’ll say this again, Save Our Tree Canopy! Save our Wildlife, Save Our Trash Pits!

  18. Michael if we were in a perfect world I would agree with you 100%. The reality is we have 20,000 trash pits throughout the City. We have homeowners that in addition to their own clippings, will allow landscapers to dump their green matter from surrounding areas in order to get a break in their landscaping costs. Code Enforcement responds to a multitude of infractions and it’s impossible to solely focus on trash pits. Have you walked your neighborhood and looked at trash pits when they’re empty? They are filthy. These trash pits, for the exception of a handful of them are mini landfills in front of homes. How can that be good for the environment! If you look at the Gables website you will see that trash pits are supposed to be only one cubic yard and they have to be located a minimum of 5 feet from a tree, utility pole, street sign and storm drain. A fire hydrant requires a minimum of 10 feet. It seems to me that the majority of these trash pits are non compliant with the City. The trash issue in this City has taken a life of its own. I have lived here 55 years and this system no longer works. We are polluting our City and remaining the status quo will only increase our fees.

  19. The solution is having code enforcement enforcing the rules. Also the people who have yard men need to make sure that they are not dumping debris from their other jobs outside of the city. I would think once the public is made aware that this is happening and that it will increase our trash fees they would be proactive in reporting these yard maintenance people who are doing this. Good code enforcement is the answer. I still see people who still throw their card board boxes out on the swale instead of putting them with their recyclables. Coral Gables has always had weekly swale pick up and I am pretty sure most people want to keep it. For the people against it you knew when you bought a house in the Gables that this is how the trash pickup is done. The easiest way to solve this is to put it to a vote like the pickup truck issue was done. I think the mayor and the one commissioner know this and would like to keep this issue quiet and have it decided by them. I wish people who are worrying about a problem that doesn’t exist would put their efforts into the real problem of the total breakdown of maintenance and the pro development.

  20. Michael, you don’t seem to comprehend that nobody cares whether you do your own yard work. It’s simply how you dispose of your green matter that has become the problem in this City. Coral Gables collects more than double the amount of green matter and trash than a City like Pinecrest. How is that possible? I will tell you how… since you don’t haul away your clippings, you leave them for the City to collect because you believe that your trash fees cover this service. It doesn’t. Since you and several residents leave the clippings for the City to collect, the City has to subsidize your service, our service. These are hundreds of gardeners and landscapers leaving all of their clippings for all of us to pay for. Rates will increase. So it’s a catch 22. Our rates will increase and you will think you’re entitled to toss more trash in the street. In addition, these trash pits are full of litter. The residents in Coral Gables have turned a blind eye to the half eaten fast food, bags of dog feces, beer cans and plastic bottles sitting in these trash pits. When was the last time you tossed any of these items out your car window while driving? These trash pits aren’t kept for green matter. So if you can come up with a viable solution to this problem, if you can figure out how to keep the City from paying close to $4 million dollars every year due to the trash collected here, please do us the honor of enlightening many of us “pompous assholes.”

  21. I have lived my whole life in the Gables since 1956. We have always had weekly trash pickup. I do my own yard work, I have a double lot with a lot of trees. I share my pit with my neighbor and we have no problems. I have no doubt that the majority of Gables residents want to keep our current system. There seem to be a lot of pompous assholes on here who think doing your own yard work is for poor people. When I was growing up here most people did their own yard work. This reminds me of when certain people in this city wanted to close off all the streets. Thankfully the county intervened and put a stop to that before the whole city was closed off. What Gables residents should be upset about is the lack of maintenance. The trees in North Gables have not been trimmed in almost five years. The sidewalks are being lifted because the city does not root prune anymore. And don’t get me started on these awful septic tanks we are still on. Some people have too much time on their hands to worry about the trash pick up. It’s one of the few things that still work well in this city.

  22. How did I get so lucky? My neighbor and I kindly share one pit, it only has landscape debris never trash, and I prefer that in a neat pile instead of scattered branches wherever they may fall or discouraging people from maintaining their yards. Our pit is no eye sore at all, but if I saw huge bright bins and hear that obnoxious sound of them being dragged back and forth it’d bother me just as much as driving around the hideous stick bug flower fountain- no matter how many times I see it I will never be desensitized to its ugliness and complete waste of tax dollars. Those trash bins would be unavoidable. I moved here loving that I’d never see them in my neighborhood.

    *The mile will just invite more litter as development packs in more people who are less committed to the long term care of our community and come into our green space recreationally and many far less respectful than those whose front yard it is. I’m far more concerned about that.

  23. Dear All- why can’t we just leave our DEBRIS on the side of our homes INSTEAD of OUT FRONT until the gardener or city ( I do not care who) picks it up once a week?
    In Naples and Sarasota ( for example) ( including $250,000 townhomes) the residents DO KOT HAVE UNSIGHTLY PILES in front of their homes. Either the gardener or community authorized clean up crew removed on pick up day. SOLVED. I don’t care if it is the city or a private gardener, I am in favor of NOT PERMITTING UGLY SWALE PILES in front of our homes at any time. We are supposed to be the CITY BEAUTIFUL!

  24. I would like to point out that those individuals like myself who pay the added monies to have their clippings hauled away, in the end, pay much more than those with a trash pit. You pay $700 or $900 per year and you’re done. I pay that amount plus every time I do a deep cleaning of my yard, I pay upwards of $1000 to haul it away because I refuse to have a landfill in the front of my home that only encourages more trash until the day it gets picked up by the City. And you keep referring to Little Gables. What do Cities with homes just as expensive as Coral Gables do? How does Pinecrest manage? How about High Pines with homes of over 3 and 4 million dollars? These neighborhoods ALL HAVE BINS. My friend has an acre plus and has 23 oaks on property plus other specimen trees and palms. Coral Gables residents are not the only ones with lush gardens but we are the only ones with the most outdated trash system!

  25. And if you produce that much green matter in one week then you will be supplied 2 bins. And if you produce more than two bins in one week then perhaps you should pay for your own haul away as you may be one of the reasons the City has to subsidize almost $4 million per year!

  26. Dear Al, you seemed to believe that Miami Springs didn’t have bins so you must have thought that the City looked clean to you. I will say this once again. The bins in Coral Gables would be wheeled out and wheeled back in. You can’t get any lazier than that. No other City has this archaic system. RESIDENTS IN CORAL GABLES LITTER. There is a reason why the rest of Florida utilizes a different system. The trash pick up that Coral Gables uses may have been great when I was a kid growing up here but it is no longer an efficient and clean system. All that JUNK is going into the ground. Landscapers will never want us closing any trash pit as they will tell you, it’s very convenient to toss all of their clippings from surrounding areas inside our city limits because they know WE PICK UP EVERYONES GARBAGE. We are being quite irresponsible by keeping these trash pits. If this City were to demand all landscapers to take their clippings or place in the bin, we would no longer have illegal dumping and littering! Like I said, you may be an exception to the rule, but if you live in Coral Gables, THIS TOO IS YOUR PROBLEM TO FIX.

  27. 90-gallon trash bins up and down my street would be an eyesore in front of my million-plus dollar home in Coral Gables. See for yourself by driving through Little Gables or the City of Miami on pick-up days. Those huge blue and green trash bins are an eyesore and a traffic hazard in residential areas. Not enough room in the trash bin? Folks will stop planting palms, oak trees, or anything with leaves or big branches. They will want to reduce the bulk of green matter produced by lush vegetation and have to pay a hauler four times a month to get it out of their yards. I’ll vote against a 90-gallon container for “light-yard clippings”. Save Our Tree Canopy! Save our Wildlife, Save Our Trash Pits!

  28. These are million dollar homes and, in some areas of Coral Gables, multi-million dollar homes yet they have trash pits in front of their homes worse than a third world country! It is time for Coral Gables to ban the pits and demand its residents pay their landscapers a little extra to haul out the landscaping trash. If they have non-landscaping trash, they can pay to have the trash hauled to one of the County dumps. I’m sure the city can put together a list of landscapers, trash haulers, and dumps that can be used by any Coral Gables resident. There is little enforcement of the rules governing the pits. Residents put trash out on any given day of the week. It is an absolute eye sore and it invites haulers to illegally dump trash from other cities. Stop it now! This is the City Beautiful and its residents have the money to get their landscapers to haul out the yard clippings.

  29. Yes, Lucy, I visited my friend in Miami Springs today. Along the way, I could see plenty of those ugly huge bins in the city. My friend has a pit in his back alleyway that gets picked up weekly.
    Some homes have the space on their side or front yards behind wooden fences to hide the huge bins from the street. Others stand out from the street with some having debris spilling out from the top.
    The bottom line, bins seen all over Miami-Dade County are an eyesore and a traffic hazard in residential areas. The solution for the Gables is the enforcement of fines for anyone dumping debris in a pit that is not theirs. The city has taken the initiative of recycling cardboard so boxes should no longer be seen on city streets. Household goods should not be placed in the trash until the evening before the area’s pickup day. I’m sure there are more rules regarding the pits that we all agree should be enforced. Yard trimmings, palm fronds, and tree limbs are not environmental hazards. A 90-gallon container (TRASH BIN) for household debris, light yard clippings, and small branches will have a chilling effect on those who enjoy their lush landscapes. Not enough room in the trash bin… stop planting palms, oak trees, or anything with leaves or big branches. I’ll vote against a 90-gallon container for light yard clippings. Save Our Tree Canopy! Save our Wildlife, Save Our Trash Pits!

  30. Al I failed to mention that EVERY HOME in Miami Springs is provided a 90 gallon container to be used for all burnable household debris and light yard clippings such as grass and small branches. Those that have been unfortunate enough to end up with a trash pit out of no fault of their own, end up having a landfill and there have been numerous complaints. Check your facts.

  31. Al surely you aren’t saying your property has increased in value because of your trash pit? All real estate increases in value just as cost of living gets more expensive. Imagine how much higher our property values would be with pristine swales and zero illegal dumping in this city. Aren’t you tired of paying for everyone’s trash being dumped here from surrounding cities? I sure am! And nobody loses their job… how great is that.

  32. Al as I mentioned. Your trash pit may be an exception but there is no denying Coral Gables litters and Coral Gables has a huge illegal dumping problem. And if your address says Coral Gables Florida, this is your problem too. The trash pits are neither cost effective, nor are they good for the environment. And by the way, I have been after this City to get rid of those holes for about 20 years now. So as you can see, I do not get swayed by anyone. It’s the other way around.

  33. I do have my facts straight. Nobody gets fired and in the gables, bins are wheeled out and wheeled back in. I rather endure a bin for one day than have to look at peoples littering, trash and illegal dumping 7 days of the week. I know people in Miami Springs and have heard numerous complaints about those that have pits. They seem to become the dumping ground for the block.

  34. Thrash bins are a total eyesore and a traffic hazard. Just drive through Little Gables on pickup days and see the gauntlet of blue and green hazards on wheels. Once the bins are emptied they fall over during windy storms. They stay out there all day! I’ve clipped one with my side view mirror trying to avoid the speeding car barreling down the narrow road, just like it would be in the Gables. One time I spotted an elderly couple trying to figure out how to get the huge trash bin out from under their car. How that happened I have no idea but it happened. Lucy, you need to get your facts straight. Miami Springs has trash pits and no bins. The service is not archaic, we are blessed with better service. My dead palm fronds and green matter are not bad for the environment. The problem of littering and illegal dumping is the responsibility of all of the residents and Code ENFORCEMENT! That’s their job. If we eliminate our trash pits what happens to the men and women working and collecting our clippings? Automated trucks require one person to flip the limited content of the bins into their truck. People will lose their jobs and I am not for that! When someone moves in or out of Little Gables, I still see huge trash pits filled with boxes and home furnishings. The problem never goes away. You are dreaming if you think trash bins will beautify the Gables. It will only make it ugly. Besides, trash pits do not hurt my property value. On the contrary, my fixer-upper I purchased in 1993 for $183,000 is now worth 1.6 million according to Zillow, crazy money!
    Don’t be swayed by lobbyists who would profit by bringing in an outside vendor, and eliminating jobs. Save our trash pits!

  35. Perry have the money , you sound like Pete Dinero. Why don’t you take your mask off and use your real name so we can identify you and be able to nominate you for the King of Arrogance prize.
    I will stay here (I can afford it) and continue to annoy with my mere presence and hopefully my pit.

    On another subject:
    Postponing hearings is an age-old tactic for diminishing interest from the public until no one shows up and the commission can do whatever they wish with minimal input.

  36. Al the state of your trash pit is in the minority. However, the problem of littering and illegal dumping is the responsibility of all of the residents. And the fact that the City has to come out to fill your trash pit periodically, is an added expense that we all pay for. Remember your current fees do not cover your real trash bill. So while I can appreciate that you do your own gardening and do not utilize a landscaper, I don’t understand why you can’t have a bin or bins in the back of your home for clippings. I am sure your swale and home would look a million times better in pristine condition. Don’t you believe that subsidized money could be put to better use? We are in the dark ages when it comes to our trash. We are the only City with this archaic system. And with the exception of a handful of trash pits, it is neither cost effective as trash pits bring in more trash, it’s inefficient and it’s not all that great for the environment.

  37. My Old Spanish 1925 home on a 75 x 100-foot lot has a variety of over two dozen palm trees. They include two rare Cuban Old Man palms, Spindle Palms, Bottle Palms, Pygmy Date Palms, Coconut Palms, Fox Tail, Pony Tail… lots of palms! They beautify the landscape, my neighborhood, and the City of Coral Gables. The vegetation attracts a wide variety of birds, butterflies, and wildlife. After a long day at the office, I enjoy chilling out in my tropical oasis and flowering garden. Sounds like a forest but it’s not. The house is totally visible from the street and has enough open air for grass to grow. The proposed bin on wheels would be quickly overwhelmed by the palm fronds and city tree limbs. I prefer not to hire a landscaper to haul my trash. My neighbor and I share one trash pit but pay for TWO! Boxes go out with the recyclables. Furniture and household items are donated. Our trash pit is filled with leaves and fallen debris from the city’s Black Olive trees in the swale that we rake, pick up and place in the pit. There is no unsightly dug-up pit since I request city services to fill it at least once or twice a year. I want to continue maintaining the yard myself. Without a trash pit, I would have no place to put “my yard trimmings” I’d have to cut it all down and install more grass. That would be kinda boring. There would be no more shelter and food for wildlife. No more butterflies, birds, hawks, or owls fluttering from limb to limb. I guess I could crank up the AC and watch TV instead but I really prefer not to.
    Keep the trash pit but please be responsible for what you put in it.
    Save our trash pits, please!

  38. Folks please use your real names. Why hide behind your words. If you have that much conviction then own it!

  39. And Dear Such Drama, as I mentioned in a previous comment, we have 20,000 pits scattered throughout the City. There is an army of residents working along side code enforcement reporting infractions. Let’s see how much you are going to love your trash pit when your fee increases to $1500 per year.

  40. Dear Such Drama, you fail to comprehend that the city wants to facilitate trash pick up for women and the elderly. It would take you the same amount of effort to walk to the front of your home and toss your trash there, as it would tossing it in a bin that would be wheeled out for you. No landscaper that works in the Gables wants us to close the trash pits! Why would they! They got a sweet deal going on here. Not only do you get charged a premium because it’s Coral Gables but WE ARE ALL PAYING for the green matter they drag in from all other surrounding cities. Before you start digging hour heels into the ground, learn the facts.

  41. I’ve been following this thread since paying my annual solid waste fee (to get the ‘early bird’ discount) and then be dismayed by the agility, or lack thereof, to postpone this meeting time and again….

    After reading Lucy’s and Ricky Ricardo’s remarks, I’d respectfully recommend three features to add to Gables Insider:
    1) Add reactions (at least thumbs up/down or helpful/not helpful) to the comments posted.
    2) Add the ability to respond to a specific comment so that it doesn’t get lost in the broader thread.
    3) Enforce an email verification process so that people enter at least a valid email before commenting as opposed to hiding behind random aliases
    4) Most importantly, Beg the people to actually Read and understand what is being said to then respond.

  42. Such drama for what? Enforce the city laws and move on. We have no gardner and no one to remove all the greens and most of the gardeners on our street do not have haul away trucks. As for other objects, we will be glad to leave it on another street, which is what will happen. Night drop offs. Unless you have a warehouse where we can drop off large objects, us women and seniors need our pits. Oh and we are not moving because some of you say we should and we will not change gardners either. We need accessibility for certain trash items.

  43. Ariel:

    Sorry for going off-topic. I e-mailed you about the City’s recent agreement with FPL for burying power lines. To date you have not replied. I asked if Gables Insider reported on this (I did not see it reported) because it is information your readers should know. I read it in Miami Today.

    We rely on G.I. for good and bad news about Coral Gables, and you’ve done a great job. I hope G.I. will continue reporting important Coral Gables news now that you are a commission candidate.

  44. Dear Mr or Mrs Ju Ga. if you properly read my comment(s) and there are several. I have NEVER had a trash pit. And I do pay… and have always paid … for my own haul away for green matter.

  45. To Lucy Alas:
    If you have your landscaper haul away and not use the thrash pit rest of us use, why are you commenting on this issue? What is your personal expertise with thrash pits, if you do not use one??

  46. Dear Baffled, I’ve lived here for 55 years and I’ve never had a trash pit. I’ve always had great pride in my home as well as my parents did while I was growing up in Coral Gables. The City is lacking uniformity. We can no longer toss our arms in the air and say “well if you don’t want a pit just close it.” This system is archaic, and costly. Have you ever really looked at an empty trash pit? They all have the compulsory items.. a bag of dog feces, some broken glass, a cup or bottle of beer and a plastic bag with some unidentified item in it, all imbedded into the soil. Let me ask you a question… How many times have you flung a bag of dog feces out your car window while driving? Or a handful of fluorescent tubes? Or half eaten fast food? If you answered NO… Then what makes it OK to drop it in a trash pit? In addition to encouraging illegal dumping due to these trash pits, CORAL GABLES LITTERS. When did this behavior become acceptable. When did Coral Gables residents turn a blind eye? And you talk about senior citizens? Well this City was planning on introducing clean and efficient bins and having them wheeled in and out for them! How easy is that? Do you have any idea that our fees are not enough to pay for our garbage and that our City has to pitch in close to $4 million dollars per year to make ends meet? Do you have any clue what your trash fees would be without the subsidized monies? Try over $1500 per year. Uphold our architecture, our open spaces and our City values, but trash??? Come on… we know better than this. We are not doing ourselves any favors by keeping ANY trash pit. We have 20,000 trash pits throughout the City. We have Code Enforcement, Safety AIDS and any army of residents patrolling and it’s still not enough!

  47. The issue with the pits seems to be citizens violating the laws with respect to the pits. If you don’t want a pit, don’t have one — and don’t use your neighbors when you have a need for a pit once in a blue moon. Your pit is now a hole – call the City and it will be filled. For the dog walkers that throw their baggies in other’s pits, realize that without the pits you will be carrying your sh** home anyway, so why not be a good neighbor and start now and not only follow the rules but be respectful. BTW – prefer a pit to those doggy bag dispenser stations on every block — whose house should have this lovely feature? If your gardener is dumping all of their clippings from whereever into your pit, say something – that again is illegal. For those of us that are throwing our cardboard into our pit – like in the image – well that’s against the rules too. Our community aids are supposed to be pointing these things out and actually reporting them to code enforcement. And to those of use that throw anything but clippings in the pit before 6:00 p.m. the day before pick up, you are violating the rules too. In my neck of the woods, neighbors share pits (by mutual agreement). And btw – the pits have been around longer than most of the folks living here – you moved INTO a place WITH pits. The pits have been around as properly values have increased. If these pits were such an eyesore . . . And enough about bagging your green waste into plastic bags for it to be picked up and hauled away. That’s completely irresponsible — bagging waste that decomposts into plastic bags. And for those that continue to insult longer term / older residents of the Gables – just remember – the Gables that you moved to is the Gables because of them, not you. The Gables is desirable because of those that have lived here, not because of those that have moved here. There are many communities with their unique character throughout Miami Dade. You chose Coral Gables because you liked what others had created.

  48. The trash pits are unsightly. Coral Gables is South Florida’s premiere residential community as Beverly Hills is Southern California’s premiere residential community. The garbage pits are ugly. They detract from the quality of life here in the Gables. I am so tired of looking backwards and what was. Let’s go forward and for those cod you that love your garbage pits- put it to a vote of the residents because just the folks that want to live in the 50’s and not modernize the Mile, and do not want progressive construction im the Gables because South Florida is changing -/ you will lose. You ate the folks that live in dilapidated houses who pinch Pennies and cannot afford a Gables lifestyle – sorry such is life my little trumpettes so sell your old homes to people with $ who will fix them up and add class to the Gables and pack your mismatched luggage – get into your 20 years old car and take your big profits and leave — if you can’t pay don’t play. The Gables is Beverly Hills and you do not see garbage pits in Beverly Hills. Bye Bye.😊

  49. Little Gables lots are usually quite a bit smaller than the Gables lots that contain more trees and foliage. I just used my first (out of 2) free bulky waste pickups and still have 1 more allowed until the end of the year. My neighbors have NEVER even called for a bulky waste pickup in 22 years. But we would share our pickups if need be. My wonderful neighbors and I share many services and assistance with each other. We certainly DON’T NEED a weekly bulk pickup. No selling point there. The green bins combined with our great sanitation truck drivers are really excellent and all we want and need. Little Gables is great as is.
    Coral Gables: Please solve your own problems and leave us alone!

  50. Frank our rates won’t decrease, how can they when we are spending $4 million per year? They are going to increase. I personally can think of better ways of spending that money toward better services for residents. And drones will only add to the already exorbitant costs. And it’s not what we pick up that all ends up in the same place. It’s what goes into the ground. But you’re correct, thankfully we live in a democracy.

  51. Dear Lucy: I admire your convictions and desire for changes to occur. This is what democracy is all about both sides argue and the majority should prevail (hence my proposal for a census).
    In answer to your questions:
    No matter how we dispose of the debris, our discards will end up somewhere, (probably all together at the end of the day). I am not an expert on the environment but common-sense dictates that only the reduction of all discards and the improvement of methods of processing control the environmental effect.
    Code enforcement is jealously applied for Garage Sales and almost any other resident’s endeavor in this town. Big brother keeps a watchful eye over all of us (good, that’s why I like the Gables)
    I am sure the city can deputize the truck operators to take photos and submit them to code enforcement people. (How about enforcement drones? Neat.
    Should the city reduce its costs as related to trash disposal I can assure you we will never see a reduction of existing fees. Governments taketh, but they don’t giveth, if you catch my drift.
    In any event, lets agree to disagree, and let the chips fall where they may.

  52. Dear Frank, I thank you for being so candid! I understand what you are saying and I can give you the name of my landscaper who is registered with the City and does take all clippings. But here’s the thing. It would take you the same amount of effort to toss your clippings into a bin that would be wheeled out for you, than it does dragging your clippings to the front of the street. You as a homeowner are doing zero work! The City does not expect you to wheel anything in or out. Understand that these trash pits attract more trash. We as a City allow for landscapers to dump clippings from other yards, whether it’s Gables or not, in a trash pit that in most cases is ok with the homeowner.
    You as well as I know, these pits are not just filled with green matter. These pits are horrible for the environment. What we pay in fees is not enough to cover the cost. The City has to add another almost $4 million dollars on top of this. We have a serious problem. And like I mentioned before: other than your trash pit is a convenience, tell me

    Do you believe these trash pits are good for the environment?

    If the city were not subsidizing almost 4 million, what do you think your trash bill would actually be?

    Do you believe Code Enforcement can realistically patrol 20,000 trash pits?

    I cannot believe anyone collecting more than 96 gallons of green matter in seven days, unless you are doing a major cleaning. By the way these large piles also keep us in the red. Our current haul away is only $10 per cubic yard. And that’s only when the City cites the homeowner, or the homeowner contacts the City for pick up. If they don’t catch it, we flip the bill. In order to break even, the haul away should be $20 per cubic yard. The rate should be going up in October but by only $5.00.

  53. Lucy:

    I like the trash pits because they make my life easy. My landscaper would probably dump me if I asked him to remove anything at all even if I offered to pay additional for the service. Not every landscaper will agree to service a yard where we require them to take all the debris away.
    In addition, I am lazy (there you go) and the reason why I live in the Gables (I have lived at three different addresses during the last 40 years) is because the city does not make me labor, it provides the luxury services (???) other places do not provide, albeit in a diminishing fashion.
    As I said before, we are not all of the same persuasion.
    Better management by the city should continue to provide services at minimal additional expense.

  54. Hi Karen, thats correct. Rates may be increasing to $509 in Little Gables, but still a bargain. If we don’t take care of the trash issues, Coral Gables will also face an increase in rates. Despite all the lovely homes here, the piles of trash are quite the distraction. They are never filled with only green matter. There’s always dog feces or beer bottles amongst other miscellaneous items on the pile. Impossible for Code Enforcement to patrol 20,000 trash pits. I believe the commission will only ask that residents in the Gables bag their trash. I find this more taxing than just tossing your clippings into a bin. I have lived here since 1967, and these trash pits have gotten out of control through the years. They have turned into mini landfills.

  55. To Lucy: Waste fees in Little Gables will be $509 this year. However, Little Gables residents are entitled to two (2) bulky waste pickups per year vs. weekly in Coral Gables.

  56. Lynne may I ask what you pay for trash per year in Little Gables? I hope I’m not being too forward. You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to. Thanks Lucy

  57. From an earlier post:” The city can well afford the census, God knows we dump money into all kinds of unnecessary and frivolous endeavors.”
    A huge unnecessary and frivolous endeavor is the $170,000 your tax dollars are being spent on the latest Little Gables Grab-a-Thon. Please speak up and put a stop to the continuing effort to ensnare Little Gables. I hope Gables residents will LOUDLY protest all the waste of your tax dollars being spent on this unwanted annexation issue.
    Our tall green bins are fab. Our (Miami Dade County) waste management works beautifully.
    Coral Gables:
    Please solve your many problems and leave Little Gables alone. Thank you kindly

  58. Frank, kindly give me your reasons for a trash pit?

    Do you think they are great for the environment? Because they are full of empty beer bottles, broken glass, wood with nails exposed and dog feces. Just going by what I photograph while I’m walking.

    Do you like your trash pit because, you don’t want to pay your landscaper? That one seems to be a big one. Well, you’re only going to add to the fees. Trash attracts more trash

    Or do you like your trash pit because it’s cost effective? Do you know remaining the status quo, will increase your rates to over $1000 per year?

  59. Frank, good to see you popped in again. Have you seen anything more frivolous than subsidizing almost 4 million per year because we pick up everyone’s garbage?

  60. Hey Lucy:

    We all are not of the same persuasion regarding this issue, therefore as I previously suggested a house-by-house census by an independent organization will truly reveal the true wishes of the people
    Then and only then, if the nays have it, should the present system be changed.
    The city can well afford the census, God knows we dump money into all kinds of unnecessary and frivolous endeavors.

  61. Dear “FED” perhaps I am not grasping what you mean by “they don’t fit anything” Do you produce more than 96 gallons of green matter in one week? Because that’s what these containers hold. It’s no wonder the City subsidizes $4 million per year! You’re the one producing all the green matter!

  62. Again, someone please come up with a viable reason why trash pits are 1. good for the City 2. good for the environment 3. A cost saver …. ANYONE?

  63. It’d be nice if people used their real names. Don’t hide behind your words, I don’t bite.

  64. Then how is it that the rest of Florida manages with containers? Do you produce so much more green matter in one week than the rest of Florida? I gather you must live in an acre plus like folks in Pinecrest. Not only are Trash pits horrible to look at, they are horrible for the environment as well. But perhaps you don’t care about that either.

  65. What part of this City subsidizes close to $4,000,000.00 per year due to illegal dumping do folks fail to comprehend. When the rates go up for this city, do you think they will continue to absorb the cost??? Do you believe your rates will only go up “just a little bit!”

  66. Bag your trash and put it where? In the street? Why can’t you bag your trash and put it in a container like the rest of Florida does? The container would even be rolled out for you! How easy is that! Your method has a trash pit and having a trash pit only brings more trash. There is an army of residents whistle blowing. Do you actually believe Code Enforcement can do this on their own? Do you actually think residents really need to this because our streets are riddled with trash? Why can’t the City rid themselves of trash pits. Thus far, I have heard nothing that can substantiate reasons for having a trash pit.

  67. Very Simple solution, BAG YOUR TRASH!!!!, dispose of cardboard boxes the way they should be!! Another tip, take a photo and send it to our Mayor, he will send your photo to the appropriate department, I have done it and it has been taken care of. We are very fortunate to have a Mayor that listens to the residents and takes Action.

  68. And I failed to mention, even when the homeowner is cited for an oversized pile, the fee is only a mere $10.00 per cubic yard. In order for the City to break even for haul away, the rate needs to be $20.00 per cubic yard. Next month the rate will only increase to $15.00 per cubic yard still leaving us in the red.

  69. And what do you propose we do Ellen? Continue to increase our rates? Do you actually believe you’re only going to pay “just a little more?” Coral Gables is subsidizing almost 4 million dollars due to illegal dumping. Are we going to continue to have landscapers come from surrounding areas while we flip the bill? There is a reason why the entire state of Florida utilizes those containers. What you are doing Ma’am is harming the environment and contributing to the illegal dumping of this City. Do you live on an acre plus of land? Do you collect tons of green matter in one week? Or are you a homeowner that allows your landscaper to dump their green matter from other yards in front of your home in order to get a break in your landscape rate? Common sight here. Do you also know that the City loses money every time there is an oversized pile of green matter if it’s not cited? Code enforcement cannot patrol 20,000 trash pits! What difference is it tossing your clippings into a container vs the street!!! It would be rolled out for you! Learn the facts before you go spewing how wonderful it is to throw trash in the street! It is obvious you are grossly misinformed.

  70. I’m just going to tell you one thing Lucy that once they change and the city removes all these pits. You are going to the worst service you can find. Believe this city is going to privatize to get their people into the City and get a good contract because somebody will get a kick out of that. You will remember me one day, I might not be alive to see it but believe me you’re going to get bad service. It has been done in all other cities and is horrible.
    I’m retired and I’m an elderly and this service is the best for us, everyone else in the city likes it, just because you don’t like it is not my problem. I’m retired and I can pay my taxes if they want to raise it I’m more than happy with paying a little bit more taxes and helping out our city our residents and our employees from the city. Honestly I wish Roxy Borton would be alive. You guys don’t care about the elderly you guys don’t care about anybody all you cares about your money and how beautiful this world is without a trash pit in front of your house all they have to do is change the ordinance. You should be a shame of your self Lucy. I won’t waste my time anymore with you I’ll see you in the sunshine meeting and the rest of us.

  71. Let’s talk facts for all those that claim they are in the know.

    The City of Coral Gables is subsidizing garbage by almost 4 million dollars due to illegal dumping.

    Code enforcement CANNOT watch 20,000 trash pits. It’s impossible. It would require an army

    These are hundreds of Gardner’s cutting daily in the city, PLUS the added green matter we get from surrounding areas.

    This City has a serious garbage problem and remaining the status quo will only increase rates for everyone.

  72. And Ellen…if you must know… I am a HUGE fan of those containers that Dade uses, and I have been after this City to remove those disgusting trash pits for YEARS. Not only are they an eyesore, they are terrible for the environment and it’s people like you that are causing our rates to increase because of these trash pits, YOU encourage illegal dumping. Perhaps there is something to learn about the rest of the state that utilizes these containers!!! And YES.. I will be voting for Mayor Lago again as he is probably the BEST mayor this City has EVER SEEN!

  73. Wow Ellen, don’t know who you are nor do I care. I am 62 years old and grew up in this City. Been here longer than you. I do have lots of green matter except, I like most residents that CAN, pay for a haul away, while YOU throw you trash in the street, costing all of us money and encouraging illegal dumping. Ma’am, I believe it’s you who should learn the facts.

  74. This one goes to Ms. Lucy Alas, sounds like you are best friends with our clown the mayor Mr. Vince Lago.
    My dear i have been a resident of this city since 1971 and honestly you do not know anything about this city. The mayor and company are going to give you the short end of the stick. First of all how can you put all these clippings into one container, I can tell you must have no shrubbery in you property. Second, these containers you are talking about are like the ones in Dade county that get picked up with the grapple machine so called one arm bandit. I can tell you have not done your homework and you have been brain washed by the mayor. It’s incredible how easy you new generation get brained washed and used by these corrupt politicians willing to destroy our service a the good employees that this city have for many years. I’m very upset with these changes being processed. Mr Mayor you should be a shame of your self. I’ll never vote for you again, hope you loose the next election. Resident look at the pros and cons this is not right!!!

  75. I just took a little drive around our City where swale/recycle day is tmrw. 98% of all of the trash piles that I drove by, easily fit into one container, including palm fronds. Unless you have 30 foot silver palms, with fronds that are extremely large and heavy, none of these regular palm fronds propose a problem. We have a fleet of electric vehicles in the City, we have been approved for underground power lines, we pride ourselves in progress, however our trash system is outdated and costly when compared to neighborhoods equally as nice as Coral Gables.

  76. What do folks do in Pinecrest with their acre plus yards? My friend has her landscaper come once per week and it’s still not enough. She not only has palm fronds but has multiple oaks and different specimen trees on property. When the large palm fronds do fall, she puts them on the side of her home. The smaller ones surprisingly do fit in her bin. Since they don’t have a backdoor pick up like we do, she leaves the larger items until the landscaper arrives.

    I believe the system here… if there were to be a change… would be very similar. You would be provided large bins for clippings, as many as you need, depending on how much green matter you or your landscaper disposes of in your home in one week.

    Instead of dragging your palm fronds over to the swale, which most are much longer than your typical trash pit…you would put it next to your clippings bin. On recycle/swale day, not only will your clippings bin, or bins be rolled out to the street for pick up, but your palm fronds will also be brought out to the front. If you have a household item that one needs to discard, that may be placed outside the night before. I think it would make more sense to place it by your bins in the back and allow the guys to bring it out for you. I have friends reading this thread that have super busy lives and perhaps this system might be a better fit for them.

    Most say that these trash pits have been around for 35 years. And perhaps they were around back in 1967 when I was kid growing up here but I never saw them. We never a trash pit at my house and to this day my 94 year old mom still doesn’t have a trash pit.

    The only thing I do know is:

    1. We have a huge dumping problem that is completely out of control and our fees will increase

    2. We as a City need uniformity. It’s either all or nothing. Makes no sense while people are paying haul away fees, others dump their trash in the street.

    3. City needs to raise their haul away fees. Every time you see your neighbor doing a large clean up in their yard and placing it on the swale for the City to collect, WE are losing money. Currently rates charged by Coral Gables are only $10 per cubic yard. In October rates will increase to $15 per cubic yard. In order for the City to break even, the city’s haul away should be $20 per cubic yard. So in the end we all pay for all of these massive piles.

  77. To Lisa LaTorre- the grip people have on public dumping in front of their own homes has more to do with entitlement than affordability. Take a ride to Gables Estates (or any other gated section); it’s the same there.

    Susan Hays is right. It can be done, we are not unique. You can look closer than Hawaii for your example to Pinecrest.

    Before I moved to the Gables, I never paid attention to grass growing out of the cracks of sidewalks or even trash on the side of the road. It was just always there. That’s how it is with trash pits here. People who have seen them for years just don’t see them for what they are- public dumping eyesores filled with dog poop. I am not optimistic for change, we do not embrace change. The best I can offer is to look the other way.

  78. These pits have been here since before I moved to the gables 35 years ago. All our properties are full of Palms and trees and we need a place to dispose of the waste. Yes some folks put stuff other than yard waste out early but from what I can tell the city is getting more into enforcing that. I also think it’s a great benefit to be able to put out waste (none yard waste meeting the size requirements) the night before. I’m fine with all that and actually prefer it.

  79. Look at all these comments. It all gets solved with enforcement of the code. If the city cannot figure it out, imagine how BENEFICIAL (sarcastic) annexing Little Gables is going to be for existing residents.

  80. The problem is that Code Enforcement does not do its job, otherwise:
    1. They would not allow all type of trash all week long in the pits
    2. Fill pit holes that can be a hazard whenparking at night or coming out of a driveway. Some of the pits can be 2 and 3 feet deep
    3. Do not allow pit holes close to the trees, damaging their roots
    4. Fine landcape companies dumping trash coming from yards outside CG into our pits

  81. I for one am willing to weigh out different options. Let’s at least hear what the City is proposing. There is no denying that this City has an illegal dumping problem and if we remain the status quo, our fees will only increase. It’s not going to kill us to keep an open mind.

  82. The trash pits serve a useful purpose. I have several royal palms on my property and they occasionally drop 15′ fronds that have to go somewhere quickly. I also trim bushes, collect dead branches and smaller fronds and other yard debris. There is no other acceptable alternative to the trash pits.

  83. Leave the pits alone. We have had them forever and they are a great way to dispose of yard waste.
    They also serve as a way to get rid of other household debris that should only be placed in them the evening before pickup. Enforce the regs as they stand. I for one detest the idea any additional work imposed to me by the city. I pay plenty for the increasingly dubious privilege of living here.
    Go for a ride in the rest of the county and take a look at how these issues are handled and you will thank the gods for how we currently do it here.
    For all of those with such refined sensibilities that cannot bear the sight of these pits, I suggest
    you request the city to conduct a city-wide house by house poll/ census conducted by an independent firm to see what the true majority wants. (not a referendum as most people don’t vote and they can be manipulated by special interests). Otherwise just chill.

  84. Our lawn and mainly canopy maintenance can’t be handled in a bin. I have done my own lawn/yard unlike a lot of Gables residents and use the pit to maintain my yard. Much of the yard waste placed in the pits can be mulched by the City and used to fill the pits level again. Those who do there own lawn should have a pit minimally, if it is decided to have lawn services cart away the ones they do.

  85. No transparency. Think about it CG residents, who subscribe to the Gables Insider, a web based newsletter, we are a small percentage of the residents that get to hear about the city’s lack of transparency. The majority of city’s citizens do not ever find out what is going on. Why does not the city support 100% of its citizens? Here is a suggestion, “old fashion” paper based one-page weekly/bi-weekly calendar of events with summary, that gets mailed to the residents. How many times have we heard Vince Lago state he will get information to the citizen’s of CG thru any means that is necessary. Lack of follow-up & transparency.

  86. Thank youi very much for continuing to cover this important story. For me, the topic of the pits is secondary. The primary story is the lack of transparency regarding the meeting. The City Commission cannot be allowed to manage this city without the input from the residents and tax payers. Thank you for continuing to shed ight on the PROCESS. This is effective journalism.

  87. The trash pits are integral to maintaining residential landscapes which contributes to the “City Beautiful” brand. As a long time resident of Coral Gables, I’ve seen how the City’s brand has played a key role towards consistently increasing property values and creating one of the most desirable areas in the country to live in. These real life markers demonstrate the trash piles have not subtracted from the allure of Coral Gables and quite possibly they play an integral role in cultivating the City Beautiful brand. Just enforce the codes and leave alone an important piece of infrastructure we pay for that helps maintain the lush landscaping so critical to City’s distinctive natural beauty.

  88. It really is not so complicated. Provide bins like the ones used in the County and City of Miami. One for garbage, one for yard clippings, one for recycle. Maintain the side/back yard pickup with the sanitation workers wheeling the bins out to the trucks.

  89. Trash piles, and the underlying trash pits are unsightly, unsanitary, and dangerous. Some of these piles are pits, and anyone walking can slip or trip and seriously injure themselves. There is one by my house that is at least three feet deep! Nobody abides by the laws, code enforcement doesn’t enforce, and as a result there is everything from household food garbage, tossed drink bottles, and dog poop bags everywhere!! GET RID OF THE TRASH PILES!!! BAG AND PICK-UP ON REGULAR GARBAGE DAYS!!!

  90. First, not everyone has a gardener and not every gardener has the ability to haul clippings, and they will not do it for $10. Second more plastic, more plastic, more plastic. Yes, bagging that amount of clippings from the huge amount of greenery in the Gables will greatly add plastic to our landfills and to fill our landfills faster. Tree branches will not work in plastic. Third we pay for code enforcers who in my neighborhood seem to pick and choose who they cite. So many inconsistencies. Start using the resources we have and cite those who place trash out too early. As I am aware, 6pm for non-clippings the night before. We need our trash site as we do not have cars to drive our by-products to a dump, or we are single women who do not have the ability to deal with weight and size of our discards or we are elderly. From previous postings I guess those on limited income or those who are elderly should move out of the Gables. What goes around comes around on that one. As a Devils advocate, we will see all the illegal dumping on other peoples swales from people who need to dispose of items quickly or clippings where ever they can and not in pits. Then you have a secondary problem. At least it is now controlled in one specific pick up area. Would love to see how many condo owners are adding their 2cents worth on these pits. We are home owners in the Gables for over 30 years.

  91. Enforce existing codes. But regularly allowing residents to have their landscaping trash removed promotes Coral Gables beauty.

  92. There has to be a better way for the unsightly trash piles….my husband was military so we lived in many areas of the US and this is the only place that allows this (and yes we also lived in Hawaii for 12 years which has year round growing season). In Hawaii we had to bag loose clippings and bundle branches in 3 foot lengths and not weighing over a certain amount. ALL had to be kept on property out of sight until pickup day….it worked there and no one complained so I know that it could work here, will take awhile for people to get use to the change……the piles are unsightly and do need to be changed as we know that many many ignore the the rules time and time again. Has always amazed me that it is allowed here……

  93. Get rid of those piles of unsightly trash. Code Enforcement is non existent when the trash is placed outside days before and the reason we live in the Gables is because it is a clean and beautiful city.
    To you folks who cannot afford a gardener or who will not pay your gardener the extra $10 to haul the clippings away – bag them and place them outside your home for pickup on the day trash is picked up.
    The garbage pits are disgusting and seeing your yard clippings next to my house detracts from the quality of life here. And I am tired of the whining that this subject brings from residents who are too cheap to maintain a standard of life here or state that they cannot a couple of dollars for garbage bags if they are so poor that they cannot afford a gardener. These are the same folks who do not paint their homes or live in homes that are so dated that they look disgusting. To the folks who do not care about the appearance of their home sell and move and take your profits and move!!!!!!

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