Steve’s Wine Bar co-owner Karen Severance disposes of cardboard Saturday in the recycling dumpster behind Rooster’s Roadhouse and other businesses on Industrial Street — where the city will test a new valet trash pickup service.

A pilot program is aimed at improving the aesthetics and accessibility of downtown Denton through “valet” trash collection at businesses along Industrial Street.

Brian Boerner, Denton’s director of solid waste, said the program to collect garbage and recyclables is scheduled to begin Monday.

The service, according to a report presented during a City Council work session last week, will operate seven days per week between 1 p.m. and midnight, for an estimated 30 to 120 days, as the staff collects data on the program’s viability.

Currently, downtown businesses dispose of garbage and recycling in dumpsters, which Boerner said leads to operational and financial challenges.

“We have dumpsters up and down the street taking up valuable parking spots,” Boerner told council members, also noting issues related to the bins’ capacity. “We service our dumpsters anywhere from three to six times a week, and as a result some of [the dumpsters] may sit during hot parts of the summer — they smell and they just don’t look good.”

Morgan Hull, who owns Rooster’s Roadhouse and Tex Tapas, said his restaurants on Industrial Street have had problems with the amount of trash the dumpsters can hold. His concern about the valet service is whether the city staff can efficiently maintain collection intervals.

However, if the service can remedy the capacity-related issues they have experienced, he said, “that would be great.”

For the valet service, the Solid Waste Department plans to use separate trash compactors in a centralized area away from downtown, Boerner said. Doorstep collections of both refuse and recyclable materials will take place three to four times per day, while the compactors will be used to reduce the current rate of collection required for the dumpster-based method to one or two times per week, he said.

Karen Severance, who owns Steve’s Wine Bar with her husband, Steve, said she hopes the program will the improve the aesthetics of their business.

“As you probably walked around [Steve’s Wine Bar] there are a lot of ugly green or ugly blue trash bins, and they serve their purpose,” Karen Severance said. “But, they tend to just take up areas that could be furthered developed for business or just another way for people know this is the back [entrance] of the business.”

A report on Downtown Solid Waste and Recycling Services notes other potential benefits for the program, such as reductions in solid waste truck traffic, illegal dumping and contamination.

At the end of the pilot program, Solid Waste Department staff will report the results to the City Council and present plans to either expand the program or identify alternative service models, according to an agenda item from the department.

RYAN HIGGS can be reached via Twitter at @HiggsUNT.

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