The new trash containers necessary for automated trash pickup are nearly here. City officials recently announced that delivery of the carts will begin on Aug. 23, and the switch to the automated format will begin Sept. 12.
Public Works Director Gary Schellhorn, who has been the driving force behind the switch to an automated system, said that everything should be ready to go by the proposed start date. A kink or two is to be expected, but Schellhorn said the transition should be relatively smooth.
“I think it will be fine,” he said. “People will have to get used to it, but I think it’ll be fine.”
Once the change has taken place, trash bags marked with stickers will no longer be picked up by city employees. All trash needs to be placed inside the 96-gallon carts, which will enable it to be removed via a mechanical arm attached to the garbage truck. Any leftover stickers can be turned in for a refund.
The city will continually update residents on the progress of the switch through media releases. An informational “door hanger” is also planned, which will be distributed to all area residents, regardless of their participation in the automated trash pick-up program.
The primary motivation behind the switch, according to Schellhorn, is safety to city employees. The automated system will virtually eliminate trips in and out of the garbage trucks, reducing back and leg strain. It will also protect city employees from the elements on extremely hot or cold days, and during storms.
The distribution of carts will be spread out over eight days following their arrival on Sept. 22. Participating residents who do not receive a cart by Sept. 2 are asked to contact the Public Works Department at City Hall for information.