Frequently Asked Questions
City Ordinance concerning garbage collection.
For answers to other questions, call City Link, 727-8000
I’m new to curbside collection. What do I do with my old garbage cans?
If you want, the city will recycle your old garbage cans, plastic or metal, any size or shape. Call City Link at 727-8000 and then set your cans at the curb with a note attached. Someone from Sanitation will come by and pick them up.
Why is the city switching to curbside collection?
Curbside collection is a more efficient way to collect residential garbage, which saves taxpayer money. It saves fuel, reduces emissions from city trucks, reduces injuries to city employees, and is less susceptible to disruptions from winter storms. Additionally, the city has received a positive response to the voluntary curbside collection program it started five years ago.
Will the cart be big enough for all my garbage?
The carts have a 96-gallon capacity and can hold 10 average garbage bags. This should be big enough to meet the needs of most families. They roll easily, even when fully loaded.
One 96-gallon container is not enough for me. Can I get another rollout cart?
Households may request up a second and third cart. However, an annual service fee of $40 will be charged for each additional cart.
I have a rollout yard-waste cart; can I use that for my excess trash?
No. Yard waste carts can only be used for yard waste. Citizens should never mix household waste with yard waste. The city will provide rollout carts to citizens for garbage at no charge, so there should be no need to share carts.
When will the city start curbside collection?
City households will convert to curbside collection as the carts are delivered. The Sanitation Division is scheduled to begin delivering 96-gallon rollout carts in August to city households that are not already participating in the curbside collection program. The schedule will depend on the ability of the manufacturer to produce and deliver the carts. All city households should be converted by the end of October.
What about those who are physically unable to roll out their garbage cart?
Exceptions will be made for households where no one is physically able to roll out the cart. Households may request an exemption by sending in the form posted here, or by calling City Link at 727-8000 and requesting a form. No exemptions will be granted without a written request. If you are exempt from using the rollout cart, you will need to continue to use your current garbage can; you will not receive a new rollout cart.
Is the cart mine to keep?
No. The city retains ownership of the cart. Each cart is assigned to a particular address. If you move, you must leave the cart for use by the next occupant.
Are these carts a traffic safety hazard?
The city has allowed yard-waste carts, which are the same size and shape as the garbage rollout carts, to be placed at the curb for years, and this has not created safety problems for vehicles or for pedestrians. There are areas where the steepness of the terrain, the narrowness of the street, the amount of on-street parking, or other unusual situations may require adjustment of the typical cart placements. In these cases, the Public Works staff will work with the affected citizens to identify the best placement locations.
How do we keep the lids and carts from blowing down the street once the crews empty the carts?
The lids of the carts are permanently attached to the carts and will not blow off. The carts are light enough to be easily maneuvered, but heavy enough to resist being blown over under normal conditions.
What happens if I forget to roll my cart to the street?
If you forget to roll out your garbage cart, roll it out the next week for collection.
Will my collection day change?
It may. After curbside garbage collection is fully implemented, the Sanitation Division may adjust some collection routes. This may lead to changes in collection days for some residents. The city will mail postcards to all households that change collection days.
What can I put in the rollout cart?
- Only bagged household trash can be put in the cart.
- Do not place yard waste, brush, or any construction debris in the garbage cart.
- Automotive parts, tires, hazardous waste, hot ashes, corrugated cardboard and plastic bottles are also prohibited.
- You should continue to place recyclables in your recycling bin for collection.
Can I set out other garbage containers?
Only the 96-gallon rollout cart issued by the city can be used.
Can I place excess garbage next to the cart at the curb?
No. All garbage must fit inside the cart. If you have more than will fit, retain the garbage for collection the next week.
Do I still need to bag my trash?
Yes. All trash must be bagged before being put in the rollout cart. City ordinance requires that garbage be bagged to reduce wind-blown litter and discourage vermin.
When should I put the rollout cart out?
Your cart must be at the curb by 6 a.m. on your collection day and no earlier than 5 p.m. the night before. Carts must be removed from the street by 8 a.m. the day after collection. Friday carts must be removed by 8 a.m. on Monday, unless the schedule is changed. Exceptions will be made during schedule changes due to emergencies or holidays.
What happens if I do not obey the guidelines for when to set out and remove my cart?
City code enforcement officers will be monitoring neighborhoods for compliance and will leave a notice when violations occur. Continued violations could result in penalties.
What if I have to be out of town during collection?
If feasible, retain your garbage until you’re back in town. Otherwise, ask a relative or neighbor to roll out or roll in your cart. Because many people leave for a long weekend on Fridays, those households with Friday collections have until 8 a.m. Monday to remove their cart from the curb.
I was in the voluntary curbside collection program. How am I affected?
You are not affected. Continue to roll out your garbage as before. However, keep in mind that curbside collection is no longer a voluntary program.
What if my cart gets damaged or stolen?
The rollout cart is the property of the city and is assigned a unique serial number. All reports of damage or theft will be investigated and carts will be repaired or replaced if necessary. DO NOT write house numbers or put any other markings on the carts.
10 Reasons Why Curbside Garbage Collection Makes Sense
1. Curbside collection saves taxpayers’ money. Aside from being a far more efficient way to collect garbage, curbside collection results in less personnel expense, less overtime, less fuel use, less workman’s compensation claims, and less contracted services expenses. It all adds up.
2. Curbside collection reduces air pollution from trucks. Trucks will be idling for less time and there will be fewer trucks on the road.
3. Curbside collection allows garbage collections on more bad weather days. After a winter storm, road conditions are usually good enough for Sanitation trucks to travel, but the yards are not accessible due to ice or snow on the ground. The crew carts used by Sanitation employees did not roll in the snow. Curbside collection reduces these interruptions.
4. Curbside collection is less disruptive. Collection at the curb eliminates the need to enter citizens’ property, eliminating early morning disruptions from barking dogs and the noise associated with employees emptying trash cans into roll carts.
5. Curbside collection eliminates missed pick-ups when access to garbage cans is blocked. Under backyard collection, obstructions to backyard trash cans made it difficult or unsafe to collect their garbage.
6. Curbside collection reduces effects of bad air quality days. When air quality reaches the orange, red, or purple levels it is unhealthy for employees to be working outside. Curbside collection is faster than backyard collection and will reduce the time that employees are exposed to poor air quality. Faster collection also reduces emission from trucks that can further aggravate air quality.
7. Curbside collection raises fewer collateral issues. With backyard collection, the city received complaints when collection crews mistakenly took items that were not trash but which were left in the backyard near the trash. Curbside collection eliminates this problem. It also eliminates complaints about pets escaping and about damage to lawns and flower beds.
8. Curbside collection eliminates citizen concerns about trash can lids. Under backyard collection, lids were sometimes damaged or lost. Cans filled with rain water and became too heavy to lift. Since lids are attached to the carts, these problem no longer exists.
9. Curbside collection is safer for employees. Employees will not be exposed to needles, broken glass, dogs, back strains due to heavy lifting, ankle sprains due to uneven walking surfaces, or other problems associated with backyard collection.
10. Curbside collection increases the number of Sanitation employees who are able to work until retirement. With backyard collection, refuse workers were liable to all the problems listed above, and the average refuse worker walked 40 miles a week collecting trash. Very few refuse workers made it to normal retirement. Most had to leave early on disability.