Starting on Oct. 15, Lawrence residents may come home to be greeted by a shiny new trash cart at their curb.
City officials on Tuesday announced a De Soto-based vendor will start distributing approximately 21,000 trash carts to Lawrence residents on Oct. 15. The final carts are expected to arrive at residents’ homes by Nov. 9.
The trash cart rollout is part of a program that will require residents of single-family homes in the city to start using city-issued trash carts instead of standard trash bags or cans.
City officials are urging residents to keep an open mind about the new carts. “We have definitely heard from other communities that use the carts that at first there may be a little bit of hesitation because it is new,” said Kathy Richardson, operations supervisor for the city’s waste reduction and recycling division. “But we also hear that in a few months residents are giving feedback about how they love their carts. They really are easy to use.”
Lawrence city officials will be working hard to convince Lawrence residents. The city has launched a website at lawrenceks.org/wrr/carts to provide basic information about the program. City utility bills, beginning today, also will include an informational flier about the new carts.
Here’s a look at some issues city officials are trying to address:
• Residents don’t need to do anything to receive a 65-gallon, standard trash cart from the city. All residents who are required to use a cart will have a cart delivered to them. If a resident already rents a cart from the city, a new cart won’t be delivered to that house. The household is expected to keep using its existing cart. Households who pay to rent a cart from the city will have their rates adjusted downward. A 65-gallon cart will now be a part of the standard monthly trash rate charged to households.
• If residents want a cart that is either smaller or larger than the 65-gallon cart, there is an online form residents can complete at the lawrenceks.org/wrr/carts website. The form can be found under the frequently asked questions portion of the website. The form also can be used to request additional trash carts, if a household believes one cart won’t meet their normal trash needs.
• For those wanting to plan ahead, the standard 65-gallon cart will be 40.5 inches tall, 28.1 inches deep, and 26.7 inches wide. The city estimates a 65-gallon cart will easily hold four standard, kitchen-size trash bags. Households with the standard 65-gallon cart will have a monthly trash bill of $14.94 per month, which is the same rate the city currently charges households that don’t have a cart.
• A 95-gallon cart will be 45.1 inches tall, 33.7 inches deep and 28.7 inches wide. The city estimates a 95-gallon cart will hold six standard trash bags. The monthly rate for households using a 95-gallon cart will be $16.94 per month.
• A 35-gallon cart will be 39.1 inches tall, 22.9 inches deep and 20.2 inches wide. A 35-gallon cart is estimated to hold two standard-size trash bags. Households that use a 35-gallon cart will pay $13.44 per month.
City officials note the 65-gallon cart won’t take up much more space than a 35-gallon cart. Richardson said her department is hoping most residents give the 65-gallon cart a try before requesting the smaller 35-gallon cart. Richardson said people who have concerns about where they will be able to store a cart can call her department at 832-3032 to request a staff member visit the house to help look at storage options. The city also has a special email address for cart-related questions: email@example.com.
• Residents will be allowed to occasionally set out extra bags of trash that won’t fit into their carts. But Richardson said city trash crews will be keeping track of the number of times households set out extra bags. If it happens frequently, the city can take the household’s small cart and provide it with a larger cart. The household’s monthly bill will be adjusted accordingly.
• The city is reminding residents the new carts are expected to improve the safety of Lawrence trash crews. The city estimates an average sanitation worker lifts about 7,500 pounds of trash each day. The new system will allow the carts to be lifted by hydraulic lifts on each truck.
• The city will recycle old, unwanted trash cans on two days following the launch of the cart program. On Nov. 9 and Nov. 16, city crews will pick up empty trash cans placed at the curb. The cans should be marked with an X to denote they are no longer wanted by the household. The De Soto-based manufacturer of the carts will recycle the trash cans.
The city, however, is reminding residents that trash cans still can be used for the city’s lawn waste service on Mondays. The city’s lawn waste and grass clipping program will not change. Households still can use cans, carts or compostable bags.
• The new carts will be delivered in phases across the city between Oct. 15 and Nov. 9. Households should look for their new carts either on the curb or along the alley, depending on where the household normally places its trash.