Trash Truck

Washington residents may soon have more trash receptacle options now that the city is moving toward allowing larger, wheeled carts.

John Nilges, director of public services, said three of four city trash trucks now have cart lifters that would allow for the use of larger receptacles, up to 96 gallons.

The use of larger carts will not be permitted until next month when all four cart lifters have been installed onto city trucks, Nilges added.

Although the city is poised to allow for the use of larger carts, the current smaller containers still will be permitted, he explained.

“Nothing changes,” Nilges commented. “This gives the citizens an option. Trash can be condensed to one larger can, on wheels, and wheeled to the curb.”

Nilges reiterated that the new cart option is not a requirement and that residents can still follow the current codes of containers 35 gallons or less, or put in trash bags that are tied/secured to keep the trash contained. There also still is a 50-pound limit per container until the city’s ordinance is updated.

Until this is approved by the council, all residents must follow the current codes. After the approval of the code, residents can use either option to place trash at the curb.

The new option is expected to “go live” Feb. 1, Nilges added.

Councilwoman Gretchen Pettet said she has been waiting for a long time for the option to use larger trash receptacles.

Nilges is recommending a change to the city code that removes the term “early morning” as the time trash should be placed at the curb, replacing it with 5 a.m. He also suggested language be added to the code stating the cans or bags can’t be placed at the curb before 6 p.m. the day before trash is collected. 

Nilges said only carts that will fit the new cart lifters installed on city trucks will be allowed for trash pickup.

He added residents can contact city hall to ask about specific carts, before purchasing them, to ensure that they are compatible with the cart lifters. 

Nilges said the Toter brand receptacles fit the city’s cart lifters and can be purchased in Washington at Ace Hardware, Lowe’s and Walmart. 

“We would entertain information from any manufacturer or supplier,” Nilges said.

MEM Grant 

Last month, the city council approved the purchase of four Bayne Refuse cart lifters to be fitted onto city trash trucks.

The city received matching grants from the Missouri Employers Mutual (MEM) for cart lifters to be installed on trucks. The cost of the lifters is $22,700. The city is expected to receive about $8,000 in grant funds to offset the cost.

The intent of the cart lifters is to prevent injuries to city staff while they collect trash.

According to Nilges, it takes 8 to 10 seconds for the cart lifters to pick up the trash bins, dump them and put them back on the ground. That prevents the city workers from lifting as many cans and bags as they do now, and allows for a brief rest period.

The MEM Safety Grant program provides financial reimbursement for the purchase of approved products and equipment that can reduce or eliminate injuries and illnesses.