Johnstown officials on Wednesday defended a new spring-cleanup procedure that has spurred weeks of complaints.

Though the service is free for the first time since 2003, residents must haul their extra spring trash to one of nine drop-off points.

City Manager Kristen Denne said the setup is necessary to keep trash rates stable.

And she said curbside pickup still is available for residents who contact Interstate Waste Services and make their own arrangements.

“You can call IWS and they’ll bill you directly,” Denne said.

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