Garbage collection switch nears in Janesville
JANESVILLE The city of Janesville has begun a campaign to educate residents about its upcoming switch to an automated garbage collection system. Examples of the new carts are displayed through the city, and information is included in the city's May newsletter.
Here are some answers to common questions:
Q: When will automated service begin?
A: Residents will receive their carts in September. Collection begins citywide the week of Oct. 1.
Q: Why is the city switching from manual garbage pick-up to automated?
A: The change should increase efficiency, said John Whitcomb, operations director for the city. Fewer vehicles will be needed, and employee claims and lost times due to injury should be reduced because they no longer will manually put garbage in the trucks. Instead, from inside the truck, they will manipulate mechanical arms that lift the carts and dump the trash into the trucks.
Q: What do residents need to know?
A: Residents will receive wheeled carts for their trash and recyclables. They can put all recyclables—newspaper, glass, cardboard and plastic—in one container as part of a switch to single-stream recycling. Residents now are asked to separate paper and cardboard from the rest of their recyclables because the city gets a better rate if those are separated, Whitcomb said.
When the city switches to single-stream recycling, it expects more people to recycle. That, in turn, will make up for any loss in revenue, Whitcomb said. It also will save landfill space.
Q: How big are the carts? Won't they take up a lot of room in my garage?
A: The carts come in 65- and 95-gallon sizes.
The 65-gallon cart is equal in volume to about 3 1/2 of the smaller recycling bins, or two standard trash barrels. The cart takes up about the same floor space as 1½ smaller recycling bins or one standard trash barrel.
The 95-gallon cart is equal in volume to about five of the smaller recycling bins or three standard trash barrels. The cart takes up about the same amount of floor space as two recycling bins, or 1 1/2 standard trash barrels.
Q: Can I see a sample of the carts?
A: Carts are on display in the lobby of the Municipal Building, 18 N. Jackson St.; Hedberg Public Library, 316 S. Main St.; City Services Center, 2200 Highway 51; and the Janesville Senior Center, 69 S. Water St.
Q: The big cart will be too big for me and want a smaller one. How do I order one?
A: Unless residents request the 65-gallon size, they will receive two 95-gallon carts. The city considered sending postcards to notify residents of that choice, but information now will be included in the May newsletter, which is mailed to each home.
City staff encourages residents to give the larger size a test drive through October as the carts still can be exchanged at no cost in November.
Trash will not be collected if it is not inside the cart, meaning the larger size might be more appealing. Experiences in other cities show residents get used to and like the larger containers. Also, despite the fact residents might not routinely need the extra capacity, there are times such as after parties or the holidays it might come in handy.
In addition, larger carts are easier to dump because people usually have not stuffed trash inside. Finally, it is better for the city's inventory to have more similar items, and that will improve long-term operational savings, Whitcomb said.
Residents who want 65-gallon carts immediately must request one no later than Monday June 11 by completing a form at the city's website, ci.janesville.wi.us/cartrequest, or by calling (608) 755-3110.
Beginning Dec. 1, residents must pay a $15 service fee if they exchange carts. That fee will be waived for residents who deliver the carts to the Janesville City Services Department, 2200 Highway 51 North.
Q: When will my trash be recycled?
A: Just like the current schedule, trash will be collected weekly and recyclables will be collected every two weeks. Route maps and a recycling calendar will be included with the new carts.
Q: Where do I put the carts?
A: Trash and recyclables must be placed in their respective carts with their lids closed. If trash isn't in the cart, it will not be collected.
If on-street parking is allowed on your street, you can place carts in the street with the wheels against the curb. Carts also can be placed at the end of a driveway or on the terrace within one foot of the curb. In all cases, make sure the arrows on the cart's lid point toward the street and the cart is at least 3 feet from any fixed object such as mailboxes, trees, street lights or parked vehicles.
Q: What can I recycle?
A: Once automated recycling begins, residents can recycle plastic bags and all plastic containers labeled 1 through 7, Whitcomb said. The city cannot recycle bubble wrap, packing peanuts or hard plastic such as that used to make Hot Wheels toys, Whitcomb said.
Q: What will all this cost?
A: Cost for each 95-gallon cart, which includes fliers, tracking tags, assembly and delivery, is $49. Cost for the 65-gallon cart is $42. Cascade Engineering from Grand Rapids, Mich., manufactures the carts.
The total estimated cost for the carts ranges from $2.2 million to $2.36 million, depending on the mix of carts ordered. The city also must pay for upgrades on new garbage trucks being ordered. The council has approved an estimated total of $3.15 million, but Whitcomb expects costs to be lower than that.