Switch to automated trash starts in Evansville

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Gina Duwe
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

EVANSVILLE--Identical wheeled carts will line Evansville streets on Tuesdays and Thursdays as the city switches to automated trash and recycling collection.

Advanced Disposal started picking up garbage and recycling Tuesday from the new carts, while cart delivery is ongoing in some areas of the city, a company spokeswoman said.

Trucks equipped with hydraulic arms controlled remotely by the drivers lift and dump the carts.

The switch to automation is an industry trend because it is safer, said Melanie Williams, community relations manager for Advanced Disposal. It saves drivers from heavy lifting and possible injuries, she said.

The carts also help prevent trash from blowing around the neighborhoods on windy days such as Tuesday, City Administrator Dan Wietecha said.

Not everyone received the size carts they ordered because of an issue with the manufacturer, Williams said.  The company will be notifying affected residents before doing a swap with the proper carts in a couple weeks, she said.

In the interim, if a resident has more trash than will fit in a cart, bags will still be picked up along with the cart, she said.

Residents were able to pick 35-gallon, 64-gallon or 96-gallon carts. The default size is 96 gallons. About 150 people requested a smaller size, but the vendor ran short of the smaller sizes, Wietecha said.

Those affected can call Advanced Disposal or the city to make sure they are on the list to get the proper size, he said, and others who decide now they want a different size also can call by Friday.

The city made the switch from bagged garbage to the carts as part of a new seven-year contract with Advanced Disposal.

In 2014, the household assessment will increase by $14 from $139 to $153 for the year, according to the city. About $6.50 of the increase is because of inflation and the new contract, about $5.50 is to cover lost revenues from a change in bulk item pick-ups and about $1 is for wages and benefits and inflation in the leaf and brush collection.

As Wietecha drove through the city Tuesday, he said he saw the typical challenges municipalities face initially: carts placed too close to mailboxes, carts not close enough to the curb or carts backward.

“I think it'll be a little bit of a learning experience,” he said.


EVANSVILLE--Trash collection is among topics of a city survey Evansville residents will see in their mailboxes Wednesday or Thursday seeking input on city services and long-range planning.

The survey is part of the city's effort this year to update its Smart Growth plan. The four-page survey should take about 10 minutes to complete, City Administrator Dan Wietecha said.

It seeks input for long-range planning as well as feedback on services such as police, snowplowing and other operations, he said.

The deadline to return surveys is the end of the month. Every household should receive a survey.

UW-Oshkosh is conducting the survey, and results will be presented in late April or early May, Wietecha said.

The city adopted its Smart Growth plan in 2005 and is updating it as part of a 10-year review. The plan covers everything from economic development to transportation and housing. City committees will focus on their areas of the plan this year, and the intent is to adopt an updated plan in early 2015, Wietecha said.

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