CINCINNATI - The city of Cincinnati is changing how it collects trash in an effort to save money and improve working conditions for its employees.
Beginning April 3, the city plans to distribute 90,000 65-gallon trash carts to homeowners for weekly use. The new carts will be the only containers citizens can use to set out trash on their regular collection day.
The trash carts will allow for a semi-automated collection system, which means city workers won't have to manually lift and dump trash.
Instead, the new carts will be rolled to the dump truck so crews can hook the carts to lifts that will dump each cart into the truck's mechanical flippers.
The carts will be distributed to eligible households with Monday trash pickup first, followed by Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday later in the summer. All eligible households should receive their carts by August.
"[Residents] can put out extra setups until the 7th of October. That's going to be the amnesty period, then after that they cannot set anything extra out other than just the carts," said Cincinnati Public Services Director Michael Robinson.
The city is implementing new trash rules for residents as a result of the changes.
Among the new rules is that all household trash must fit inside the new carts, otherwise it won't be collected. Bulky items, like furniture and appliances, may be collected by appointment only by calling (513) 591-6000 or they can use 5916000.com to schedule a pickup.
Officials say after residents use the carts for two weeks, they will have the option to swap for a smaller (35 gallon) our larger (95 gallon) cart size. Residents are not allowed to trade trash carts with neighbors and must leave the carts at their residence if they move.
The rules, however, are different if you rent an apartment in a building with more than five units. City trash pickup at commercial and mixed use buildings is being discontinued and at residences with more than five units in October.
Those entities will have to hire a private contractor and the cost likely shifted to renters.
"There's a possibility because we are asking that the companies that are going to be doing the commercial collections that they pay the city 10 percent of their gross revenues so it might be applied to the apartment owners or to the residents of the apartments," said Robinson.
Another change taking place is that that yard waste collection will return beginning April 1. Yard waste will be collected every other week and on the same day recycling is collected.
Old trash cans can be used as yard waste bins, as long as they are labeled as such and do no exceed 40 pounds in weight. Otherwise the waste must be in a labeled yard waste bag.
The rules for recycling will continue as usual with the following items allowed in bins:
- Plastic bottles and jugs
- Glass jars and bottles
- Aluminum and steel cans
- Empty aerosol cans (lids and tips removed)
- Cardboard ( as long as it's in 3' by 3' sections)
- Paper products like, office paper, newspapers and magazines, junk mail and envelopes, telephone books, paper grocery bags.
The city says the new trash system aims to protect workers' health and reduce the amount of worker injuries.
The changes are also expected to reduce the amount of trash collected, encourage more recycling, cut the cost of workers' compensation and keep the streets cleaner.
The city has 163 waste collection workers right now and the automation could impact half-a-dozen employees who would be reassigned.
The overall savings from the project are estimated at $3.2 million a year.
9 On Your Side reporter Tom McKee contributed to this report.
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