Spring is long gone, but signs of green will be popping up in the front yards of Lawrence homes for weeks.
Crews with a city contractor delivered about 1,000 green plastic trash carts to the curbs of Lawrence residences Monday, and another approximately 19,000 are on the way as part of the city’s program to require residents to use city-issued trash carts instead of cans or bags.
City officials recently received five semitrailer loads of the carts, which primarily were made at the Rehrig Pacific plant in nearby De Soto. City leaders are expecting about two semitrailer loads of carts per day until every home has a cart, which is expected to be by Nov. 9.
“Crews will be delivering from daylight to dusk, and they will be working on Saturdays,” said Tammy Bennett, assistant director of public works for the city.
The carts are being left with a packet of information that reminds residents about the new program, and the reason the city is switching from a system that allowed households to set out a variety of different trash containers.
“Worker safety is really what is driving all of this,” Bennett said.
The new carts are compatible with hydraulic lifts that are on all the city’s trash trucks. The carts will allow crew members to roll the cart to the lift, which will do the lifting and dumping of the trash as opposed to the manual lifting involved with cans and bags.
The city also has ordered two automated trucks that have a robotic arm that is controlled by the driver of the truck. Those trucks, which likely will be delivered in April, will have a one-person crew instead of the standard three-person crew.
The carts come with an informational flier put together by the city. Among the items city officials are stressing:
• Residents can call 832-3032 if they believe the standard 65-gallon cart won’t be the right size for their trash needs. The city also offers a 35-gallon cart and a 95-gallon cart. The smaller trash cart will reduce a monthly trash bill by $1.50 The larger cart will increase a trash bill by $2.
• Every household in the city will receive a cart, unless the household already rents a cart from the city or the household is served by a Dumpster.
• Carts are the property of the city and should be left at the residence if you move. People who take carts to another residence are subject to a $50 fee.
• Households are expected to fit all their trash into the carts, although the city will allow a couple of exceptions per year. The flier states that crews will pick up extra trash bags that don’t fit into the cart on two occasions, but a third time will result in the city bringing your household a larger cart and adjusting your monthly bill accordingly.
• The city will begin selling brown plastic carts that can be used for yard waste. The city will continue to allow households to set out yard waste in cans or compostable bags, but it is offering a special 95-gallon cart for a one-time $60 fee. Unlike the green trash carts, residents will own the brown carts. The green trash carts also can be used for yard waste.
Up to three crews at a time will be driving pickup trucks with trailers through Lawrence neighborhoods to deliver the carts between now and Nov. 9. A schedule for when carts will be delivered to specific areas of town hasn’t been set.