Either get out your calendars or your nose plugs because trash day is set to change for about half of Lawrence.
Beginning May, 6, the city will implement a new route system that is a first step to rolling out a citywide curbside recycling program in October.
City officials have released a map that shows the dates that trash crews will be in neighborhoods. Click here to see the map. The biggest change is that the city will be operating residential trash routes four days a week, up from three days currently.
"We're trying to gain some efficiencies by expanding to four days," said Tammy Bennett, an assistant director of public works for the city.
Under the new system, crews will be running trash routes on Fridays. Currently, residential trash service is only conducted on Tuesday through Thursday. This will be the first time in at least a decade that the city is changing the schedule for residential trash service, Bennett said.
Bennett said the city plans to actually place a note on the trash container of every household that will see its trash day change. Bennett said the note will show up the week before the change is set to take place. All changes will begin the week of May 6.
The city also is working to introduce a new subscription service that will allow people to sign up for a text or email reminder about when they need to set out the trash. Bennett said the system is being designed to send a reminder the day before or the morning of trash day. The city plans to have the reminder service available by the end of April.
Remembering trash day will become a bit more complicated once the city begins the curbside recycling program. Trash service and curbside recycling will be on the same day for households, but trash service will occur on a weekly basis, while curbside recycling will be every other week.
Bennett said the city plans to start curbside recycling service the week of Oct. 21.
The city is purchasing three new trucks for the residential curbside recycling program, but it also will be taking three existing trucks out of the trash service and switching them to the recycling operation. Bennett said that switching of trucks was the reason the city decided to go to a four-day collection week and change the city's route system.
Bennett said the city is continuing to purchase more fully automated trucks that use a remote-controlled arm to pick up the specially designed trash carts that residents were mandated to begin using last year. The curbside recycling system also will use a cart system: blue, 95-gallon carts that will start being delivered to homes in September. The automated trucks allow the city to operate with a crew of one person per truck instead of the usual three people per truck.
"The trucks are a great solution for a lot of areas," said Bennett, who noted that the city will continue to use the more traditional trucks in routes that have a lot of on-street parking and trash pick-ups in alleys. "But we've been pleased with how people are adjusting to the carts."