Janesville43.2°

Residents still can pick trash carts

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Marcia Nelesen
September 12, 2012

— Automated trash and recycling pickup for Janesville has been delayed until spring, giving residents more time to choose a cart size.

Residents will get 95-gallon carts unless they notify the city they want smaller, 65-gallon carts.

The city had planned to start the new pickup system in October after delivering wheeled carts to each house in September.

An equipment breakdown at the vendor, Cascade Engineering, means the carts could not be delivered until late fall. City staff decided to delay the new program until spring to avoid the risk of winter weather interfering with cart delivery.

Staff considered going with another vendor but learned it wouldn't save time.

"We just did not want to push that winter envelope," said John Whitcomb, city operations director.

"You never know what winter weather's going to be like," Whitcomb said. "If it was like last December, we'd probably be moving forward. If it was December 2009, when we set a new (snow) record "

All employees in the public works department help with snow removal, and a tough winter would make implementing a new trash and recycling program more difficult.

"We want that initial first-time experience to be favorable," Whitcomb said. "It's just a lot of change, and throwing some bad weather on top of it, that's just not a good way to start a program."

The delay until spring 2013 will allow staff additional training on new equipment.

The city will delay trading in existing trucks, but staff must decide where to store the new trucks until they're needed.

Staff hadn't expected a delay in getting carts. Other communities the city researched had experienced glitches in getting trucks on time.

"Nobody said, 'Oh yeah, a mold failed and they (the cart company) couldn't deliver," Whitcomb said. "We didn't' anticipate this."



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