The city of Charleston implemented a new trash bag distribution program earlier this month, but it hasn't gone as smooth as planned.
For several weeks, retail distribution centers have run out of supply, leaving many residents without bags.
"I am on my third trip to pick up my recycling bags, which I hope have finally arrived," said Jerry Waters, a Charleston resident. "I am using a lot of gas money on this."
Under the city's previous system, garbage bags were available for pickup in either the city collector's office or city manager's office. Now, residents must go to one of five designated retail locations in the city and present a voucher.
"I think they should have looked into it a little deeper before it started. The company should have had more bags on hand," said Carolyn Redwine, a local resident.
The new program is expected to save the city $35,000.
City officials are also hopeful that participating businesses will see increase in foot traffic and sales.
"We have brought in several new faces the market, so it's working for us and we hope it will continue," said Allan Hathaway, the owner of The Purple Onion.
The WasteZero program in Charleston began earlier this September. Gary Tyson, the chief operating officer, said the company is working hard to correct its previous miscalculations.
"We normally expect 30 percent of vouchers to be redeemed in the first month, but here we saw 65 percent redeemed," said Tyson. "Now that we've figured out the problem, we have full inventory at all the locations."
Tyson said the company is making adjustments and will be better prepared for February, when the next set of vouchers will be mailed to residents.
Designated retail locations where garbage bags have been picked up are:
-The Purple Onion, 800 Smith St.
-Drug Emporium, 5101 MacCorkle Avenue SE
-Drug Emporium, 1603 Kanawha Blvd. W
-Foodland, 5003 MacCorkle Avenue
-F.M. Pile Hardware - 1625 Washington Street W.