Outreach pivotal on late trash pickup program

Outreach pivotal on late trash pickup program

Officials release details on cart exchanges, additions

PAWTUCKET – City Councilor Michael Araujo is asking Public Works Department personnel and the city’s trash collection company to reach out to residents to let them know that trucks will be returning within 24 hours if they miss a pickup.

As Araujo and the City Council see it, a new automated trash program where workers are sent back out within a day of missed pickups is a great thing, as detailed by DPW Director Eric Earls in a letter, but will be ineffective if residents don’t know about it.

Araujo said the new automated trash program, set to come online on Tuesday, Aug. 11 (Monday holiday), is a really great one, and will help lessen rat problems in the city while leading to cleaner streets overall. But he’s concerned, said Araujo, that residents who see their bin left behind for whatever reason and don’t know about the plans to return will put the bin back in their yard, making it a nuisance and potential attraction for rodents.

He said he’d like any communication to residents to be done in multiple languages, also urging officials to continue contract negotiations with vendor MTG Disposal to try to get a second person consistently on the trucks for congested areas of the city with tenements.

“I want to make sure that everybody’s trash is picked up every week and that the ones that are missed aren’t left behind for the following week and then having a problem where we’ve got trash on top of the bins, which could cause a problem with rodents,” he said.

In his July 14 letter to the council, Earls said the city at this time does not intend to issue tickets to residents whose vehicles are found blocking carts. He said he expects drivers to acknowledge the presence of the trash totes and not park in front of them. If trash collections are missed, however, the city will maintain a list of missed addresses and the vendor will return within a day to collect the trash from those locations.

City officials are expecting the last of the new trash totes to be delivered by the end of this week.

“Automated trash is an opportunity to improve the services to the residents,” said Earls in a statement.

There are many benefits to automated collections that our residents will see, he said, including:

• One heavy-duty bin per residential unit, which will help mitigate loose trash blowing around our neighborhoods and reduce access to trash for animals;

• A reduction in contamination of recycling with trash due to color-coded bins;

• And easier use due to the bins being durable and having wheels.

“We ask that you work with us as we implement this automated process together,” said Earls. “If you have any questions or concerns about the bins or process, reach out to our department.”

All residential units received a 65-gallon cart. These carts may be exchanged for a smaller or larger cart as necessary. Additional carts may also be purchased.

• Exchange a 65-gallon cart for smaller 35-gallon cart – No charge

• Exchange 65-gallon cart for larger 95-gallon cart – $20

• Buy additional 65-gallon cart – $60

• Buy additional 95-gallon cart – $75

• Buy additional 95-gallon recycling cart – $30

The Department of Public Works continues to work alongside the vendor to establish several drop-off locations throughout the city where residents can drop off unwanted trash barrels, with more information to be provided later this summer. Residents can also use the old trash barrels for yard waste.

If you have any questions or concerns, email the DPW at dpw@pawtucketri.com or call 401-728-0500, ext. 233. More information can be found at www.pawtucketri.com/news/automated-trashcollection .