Lawrence city commissioners at their meeting today will be asked to move forward on a plan requiring residents to use city-owned trash carts instead of traditional trash cans or bags.
Commissioners will consider advertising for bids for 23,000 wheeled, plastic trash carts that would be distributed to households across the city.
City officials released many of the details related to the trash cart program earlier this year, but today will be the first time city commissioners will weigh in on the proposal. Here’s a look at key details:
• A 65-gallon cart would be the standard size issued to households. City staff members are estimating the 65-gallon cart will meet the trash needs of a typical four-person household, especially if the household recycles some of its trash. Households would be provided the city-owned cart at no additional charge.
• A 90-gallon cart would be issued to households that are having a difficult time fitting their trash into the 65-gallon cart. Households that choose to have the 90-gallon cart would pay $1 a month.
• The new trash system would allow households to place bags of trash at the curb if their cart is full. There would be no extra charge for picking up a bag or two, but the city has indicated it wants such activity to be the exception and not the rule. The memo proposes that route drivers and solid-waste supervisors keep a log of households that regularly set out bags of trash.
• A 35-gallon cart would be offered to households that believe a 65-gallon cart is too large. Staff members, however, aren’t recommending that households receive a price break for taking a 35-gallon cart instead of a 65-gallon version.
• The city would provide a program for a limited time to allow residents to recycle their old trash cans. The memo states several trash cart companies will take the old trash cans and recycle the plastic to use in new carts.
vStaff members are estimating 7,000 households will see their monthly trash bills go down as a result of the new program. That’s because about 7,000 households currently rent a trash cart from the city. Most rent a 90-gallon cart. Those households pay the city an extra $2 per month to rent those 90-gallon carts. The new system would charge $1 per month.
• The city is estimating it will cost about $1.13 million to purchase the 23,000 carts. The city previously has set aside about $1.12 million to upgrade the city’s trash system.