Archive for Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trash carts coming October 15

Residents will receive 65-gallon container unless other requested

August 28, 2012


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 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 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:

• 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.


Bill Lee 5 years ago

What about duplexes, four-plexes, etc?

classclown 5 years ago

I'll probably do like most other people will. Order the smallest cart and if i have any extra, pawn it off on my neighbors or find the nearest vacant lot.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

You're going to automatically get a 65 gallon cart, and it's not going to cost you more than a smaller why bother getting a smaller one?

Then, if you have more trash than that in a week, you have a much bigger problem than the size of your city-provided trash cart.

jafs 5 years ago

Actually, the smaller ones will cost a little bit less, from reporting on the subject, and this article.

But, attitudes like the one expressed indicate much bigger problems.

classclown 5 years ago

Or I can take it on the "T" with me. If I wear shoddy enough clothes, the driver will assume it's my luggage which I'll just happen to forget to take off the bus with me. Oops! Guess I'll have to make a trip to Lost and Found to claim it.

kernal 5 years ago

There's no valid reason to reject them "enmass".

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

They won't be.

Most people will love the new carts when they find out how much easier they are to move, and how the lid doesn't blow away, and how it doesn't cost you anything to replace them.

Lots of people simply don't like change.

irvan moore 5 years ago

what do you do with stuff like old boards, sinks, etc. that don't fit in cans, now the trash workers pick that stuff up, will they still

werekoala 5 years ago

From what I understand, yes. Much more than Deffenbaugh would...

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years ago

Next you better have a garage to put your new cart in or codes division will send you hate mail about your cart being seen from the street. Code enforcement will give you 30 days to find somewhere to hide your cart from the view of your neighbor that snitched you out, then start blessing you with a fine automatically put onto your property tax bill.

Gawd, I am glad to have a big brother.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

I've always thought it weird how some people will make things up...and then get all worked up about something that only exists in their imagination.

Laura Wilson 5 years ago

I've had my mini-dumpster (from the city) sitting outside my garage for over twenty years with no problems. Maybe you need new neighbors.

sleepy33 5 years ago

We also already have a cart, and it sits outside our garage, and we've never had any complaints. It's inconspicuous, and it doesn't blow over in the wind or anything. Sure looks a lot nicer than my neighbors 3 ugly trash cans that he sometimes leaves at the curb for a day or two after trash day.

average 5 years ago

Why do we act like this is some sort of novel experiment? The vast majority of trash systems in the country have had standardized carts (and 2-man crews, giving way to 1-man more recently) for over 20 years now. Places where trash is run as a competitive for-profit industry (Manhattan KS and Great Bend come to mind) have used company-issue carts for more like 30 years.

gphawk89 5 years ago

I was wondering the same thing. Why is this even news? It's not rocket science. You put your trash in the cart, wheel it out to the street, and the truck comes by and takes the trash. Even my little hometown in NCK has been doing this for a couple of decades.

Where I live now we get two, a big blue one for trash and a smaller black one for recycling.

Matt Schwartz 5 years ago

At what rate will the city pay to buy my Brute brand trashcans?

Matt Schwartz 5 years ago

I'm over it now. Thanks for the advice.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

Use them for recycling and yard waste. That's what we do with the trash cans we had before we started renting one (which we love) from the City.

spirit_level 5 years ago

I have been using the city trash cart system since 2008. The carts are easy to roll out to the curb, and are designed so the refuse crews don't have to lift the can up to empty it in the back of the truck. The truck lift does the heavy work. I have only rarely needed to use additional barrels for my refuse. And they are less prone to tipping and blowing on windy days than hardware store barrels. I suspect (joy of whining aside) that most people will be pleasantly surprised.

towardtheblue 5 years ago

I, too, have used the cart since '08. I guess I don't get around to as many neighborhoods as I thought - I'd assumed the whole city had been using these for years.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years ago

I have been using the Cart since we moved in 2001. Works just fine, but the street and intersection near my house look like the surface of the moon. Please fix our streets!

snitty 5 years ago

The next step - issue smaller bins to sort glass and plastic for recycling. It is disgraceful that Lawrence still doesn't offer this as an option, much less make it mandatory, as many other more progressive cities do.

James MacMurray 5 years ago

"City officials note the 65-gallon cart won’t take up much more space than a 35-gallon cart."

Good for the city and LJ World to get the actual sizes into the article, but I think the above quote understates the size difference between the 65gal and 35gal containers.

65 gallon has a 5.2 sqft footprint whereas the 35 gallon has a 3.2 sqft footprint which is driven by the 65 gallon bin being about 6.5 inches wider and 5.2 inches deeper.

irvan moore 5 years ago

i measured my old trash cart this morning, the new one will be 6 inches taller, 4 inches wider and 8 inches deeper, i can live with that but i still think the city is wasting a lot of money fixing something that's not broken

Topple 5 years ago

Well, from your point of view it's not broken. But the city looks at many different aspects than taking an extra 3 squart feet of space in your garage.

They have to concern themselves with injuries to waste removal employees, the time it takes to empty trash, cans rolling into streets and dumping waste before being emptied, etc.

Try looking at things from more than one perspective.

paulveer 5 years ago

Strictly enforcing the existing trash weight limit (routinely ignored by workers and public alike) would eliminate the injury issue. How much would that cost? And I think that truck is going to spend a lot more time spewing hydrocarbons in front of everyone's house while it waits for the worker to wheel the cart to the correct position at the truck, waits for it to lift, then dump, then return the cart to the ground, and then wheels the cart back to the side of the road.

kuguardgrl13 5 years ago

In a lot of cities that use these carts, if the homeowner doesn't place the can correctly, it will get skipped. They go right at the curb usually with the wheels facing away from the street. Should be directions printed on the lids. It works out in the suburbs where everyone has a driveway, but it might be a bit of a challenge in the older parts of town. Those workers may still have to position carts.

muddfoot55 5 years ago

We have no choice....welcome to the Soviet City of Lawrence....

average 5 years ago

Ah, the lack of choices. In a socialized system... um... yeah.

I guess we could have gone the route of Manhattan where there are multiple private companies competing at the individual level. However, and this may disappoint you, they all provide and require the use of rolling truck-lift carts and have for many years. Because they really do save money, time, and workers comp injuries.

RubyVrooom 5 years ago

What size are the current city rental carts?

spirit_level 5 years ago

There are several sizes already in use and I don't think the size is indicated on the container. Check your bill. The rent you're paying will indicate the size you're using. The current rental fee for a 65 gallon poly cart is $1.50, and $2.00 for 90 gallon.

HutchSaltHawk 5 years ago

I appreciated the article. It actually answered all of my questions.

jayhawklawrence 5 years ago

"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.”

I am curious as to the experience of other college communities the size of Lawrence. There is no clear information about how they plan to manage student generated trash which on move out days is massive.

They seem to expect this plan to succeed but I do not believe it will eliminate the trash problems. Lawrence has different requirements than other communities.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

Do you seriously think that dumpsters are going away?? Because that's sure what it sounds like.

And for those students who live where the landlord provides trash cans? What difference do you truly think this will make? Surely you don't think there was a crisis every time a landlord bought a new trash can, do you? Then why would you think there's something to get stressed about with replacing 30 gallon trash cans with 65 gallon trash 'carts'?

By the way, Lawrence isn't the only college town in Kansas. It isn't even the only large school college town in Kansas. We do not really have different requirements regarding trash.

kuguardgrl13 5 years ago

I doubt my apartment's dumpster is going to go away. Which leads me to make a request. If you are one of those people who is going to be a cheapskate and get the small cart when you need a bigger on, don't use my dumpster for your leftovers. I pay for it to be emptied just like you pay to have your carts emptied. You don't see me dumping my cat litter in your trash can, so don't dump your crap in mine. Feel free to take the random pieces of furniture though.

muddfoot55 5 years ago

I guess they could start a new game trend on Friday and Saturday nights after the bars close. Open, insert drunk student, start at the Oread and push down the hill. The one that goes the farthest wins!

zzgoeb 5 years ago

I'm confused; 65 gallons is only a dollar more a month than 35 gallons? My math says 35 gallons should be about $8 a month, not $14? If we send less, we pay less right? Figure it out you greedheads!!!

arizonajhawk 5 years ago

I live in a community very much like Lawrence. We are larger (about 250,000) but very similar. We moved here from Lawrence. We have had these types of trash containers for 10 years. We have 2, one for trash and one for recyclables. There are no problems with them at all. I have not heard a single complaint from anyone in 10 years. We have weekly pickup with an additional once a month pickup of bulk items too large to fit in the container like washing machines and water heaters.

Michael Rowland 5 years ago

Wow, why are so many commenters so butthurt over nice, new trash cans being provided by the city?

werekoala 5 years ago

Being scared of change is pretty much the entire raison d'être for the conservative movement.

(Don't worry, we're safe, because I spoke in Commie-code!)

JackMcKee 5 years ago

Take the one city service that people are happy with and change it, in the process spending a couple million dollars of taxpayer money on new carts, that basically nobody wants. Also toss in a phantom water bill increase that you think nobody will notice, then claim that you're actually lowering the city trash rates. Not surprisingly some of the morons in town believe you. Thank you Cromwell for that absolutely amazing bit of dishonesty. This is the same guy that lied to everyone about the library. What does anyone really expect out of this guy.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

People will actually really like the new carts. This is just another example of making a mountain out of an imaginary hole in the ground.

JackMcKee 5 years ago

I like my cart, which is identical to the one the city will roll into my driveway in October. It's not the type of trash receptacle that's the issue. It's the altering of what has been a highly appreciated and rated service to an inferior product. If the city were a restaurant, we were getting The Burger Stand and now the city is substituting Burger King.Cromwell is telling you that you're still getting a hamburger and your rates only going up a little, so who cares.

You're talking about what kind of wrapper they serve the burger in.

Matthew Herbert 5 years ago

The Burger Stand had more health code violations than Burger King. Bad analogy.

Tomato 5 years ago

Previous articles said they spent under a million on the carts.

I might be basically no one... but I can't wait for my new cart.

JackMcKee 5 years ago

The total cost of Cromwell's trash debacle will be at least a few million dollars. For an inferior product, no less.

JackMcKee 5 years ago

and I'll be glad to sell you my old one, then you can be twice as happy.

Tomato 5 years ago

Nah. You should keep it for lawn clippings. Or use it to store your BS - it must be hard to keep contained.

bevy 5 years ago

All together now: "I'm being oppressed!" Geez people, get over it. It's a trash cart, not a sign of the apocalypse. Many of the small towns around (including mine) have these as well. Our waste company rents them for a small additional charge.

JackMcKee 5 years ago

You are confusing the trash cart with the product, which is what people are actually opposed to changing. Before you accuse people of "whining" you might want to avoid looking like an idiot by completely missing the argument of the opposition.

akuna 5 years ago

What is the argument of the opposition? An inferior product? What is your proof?

JackMcKee 5 years ago

If you're giving people a service and you take certain aspects of that service away, you are, by definition, giving them a lower level of service. Which is quite obvious to all but the most dense.

JackMcKee 5 years ago

I'm pretty sure there were always limits on the amount, type and condition of refuse that that sanitation department would pick up on a regular run. They had these little tags they hung on things that violated the rules.

arizonajhawk 5 years ago

Jack. You claim it is an inferior product. i have had this service for 10 years. It does not spill trash, have dogs get at at it, or have any kind of problem. The container is emptied by a single driver. What is inferior about it.

JackMcKee 5 years ago

Current service: the city picks up pretty much what you need to toss away. Usually that's a trash can. For me, it's the same trash can the city is issuing. I like my container, so I'm sure the identical container will be exactly the same. On occasion, I need to to toss out other things that the city currently picks up. The new service will pick up an occasional extra bag of garbage. It's decidedly a lesser level of service.

irvan moore 5 years ago

wait for it, cromwell is heading towards private trash service (starts with a d) and provides crappy service

patkindle 5 years ago

great news, and it only costs pennies a day how wonderful, most folks already park their cars in the drive way because they have too mmuch junk in the garage, so thier will be room for the deffenbaugh dumpster

beerbaron03 5 years ago

everyone is missing the elephant in the room here. why else would the city FORCE everyone to use a city-issued trash can? i bet anything that there's some sort of tracking/listening device that will be implanted in everyone's can. this way, a wifi receiver on the garbage truck will get the download of data each week of everything that has gone on at that house. just think about it people. i tell everyone who will listen that you better not keep the city-issue bin in your garage...better off in the street all week!

paulveer 5 years ago

Strictly enforcing the existing trash weight limit (routinely ignored by workers and public alike) would eliminate the injury issue. How much would that cost? And I think that truck is going to spend a lot more time spewing hydrocarbons in front of everyone's house while it waits for the worker to wheel the cart to the correct position at the truck, waits for it to lift, then dump, then return the cart to the ground, and then wheels the cart back to the side of the road.

Tomato 5 years ago

I have a non-city trash can and my neighbors all have city-rented cans. They definitely take more time with mine.

Rex Hargis 5 years ago

Paulveer I have the rented trash cart and the truck spends no more time in front of my house than it does my neighbor's.

JackMcKee 5 years ago

I'd like to focus on the most important thing here, so it doesn't get lost. Cromwell is dishonest. He can't be trusted in the public sphere. I've never seen him in the business community so I can't comment on his business ethics. The man is a bad leader and has no business on the city commission or in any other elected office.

Rdah 5 years ago

Are there any provisions for handicapped people who live alone? I can't handle carts

jafs 5 years ago

How do you get your trash out now?

cummingshawk 5 years ago

I like the assumption that the carts will automatically be stored in the garage. What if there is no garage or, as in my case, the garage is detached and using it for cart storage is problematic? Thank you city planners for handing me a new decorative object for my sidewalk, I imagine it'll nestle nicely in the bushes between uses.

jafs 5 years ago

What do you do with your current trash cans?

Piggles 5 years ago

I don't need a cart. I already HAVE two trash cans and don't even use them as I for the most part only have one bag trash that I just set out to the curb. This new cart can sit at the curb as I have no room for another trash can when I already have two nice ones in great condiition. I don't live in a single house I live in a triplex so you don't have much space for a lot of things. City sure didn't think this clearly. Instead of wasting money on stupid carts, why not use the money and fix these streets!!!!

jafs 5 years ago

Why would you keep and store two trash cans you don't need or use?

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