Taking out the trash: City of Perry rolling out new garbage cart program Aug. 6

Allison Ullmann - Staff
Bill Annear uses the new automated garbage truck to pick up one of the 95-gallon carts. The new program will roll out Aug. 6. PHOTO BY ALLISON ULLMANN/THE PERRY CHIEF

Perry residents will soon see a change as they take their trash out to the curb.

The City of Perry is rolling out an updated garbage program on Monday, Aug. 6. The new program features a 95-gallon garbage cart instead of the current four bag allowance.

City Administrator Sven Peterson said there were multiple reasons behind the switch.

One of those reasons is efficiency. The route will be done quicker and more efficiently as only one person is needed to operate the new automated garbage truck.

That truck will be driven by Bill Annear. He has been practicing with the new truck to get used to the joystick controls.

“Bill is used to driving now with a guy riding on the back of the truck and throwing bags in. Then he goes to the next one and the next one,” said Josh Wuebker, Deputy Public Works Director. “Now it’s going to be him driving on the opposite side of how he’s used to driving and using like a video game controller to run this truck.”

The joystick controls the arm on the garbage truck. The 95-gallon cart is lifted up by the arm, emptied into the truck and set back on the curb with that joystick.

The new containers, Peterson said, will also help with worker safety.

“We’ve had a couple instances where people have needles in their garbage bags and we had a few sticks,” he said. “That alone is enough of a reason. Nobody should ever have to deal with the fallout of being stuck.”

Another benefit for the new carts will be on the cleanliness side. Raccoons, cats, birds and other animals won’t be able to tear into the containers like the bags.

One 95-gallon cart will be delivered to each Perry resident the week of July 30. The new program goes into effect Aug. 6.

“So we’re just trying to educate people and give people as much information as possible,” Peterson said.

Letters explaining the changes to the garbage program were recently sent out to Perry residents. The letters include a list of the changes and some helpful tips for filling the carts and placing them correctly at the curb.

Some of those tips include not overfilling the carts as they then can’t be emptied by the automated truck. Trash should be placed in bags within the cart so items do not blow away when emptied.

Carts should be placed in the front of a property. They should not be placed in the street. The cart should also be placed with the opening toward the street.

One key thing, Peterson said, is for residents to not place carts behind or right next to where a vehicle is parked. The automated truck needs four feet of clearance on all sides of the cart.

“That’s probably going to be our biggest hurdle in this whole process is educating people not to park in front of the trash cans,” Peterson said.

Wuebker encourages residents to be considerate of the driver. If a neighbor parks in front of your cart, he suggests asking them to move because the driver can’t pick up the cart.

Wuebker added that sheets will be handed out to residents saying a cart was too close to the mailbox or a car was parked in front of a cart. The sheets will be handed out the first week of the program, Wuebker said, so it can run as efficiently as possible.

He wants residents to remember to have patience as the new system is rolled out starting Monday, Aug. 6.

“I know it’s new for them, but it’s new for us too so let’s just work together and make it the best it can be,” Wuebker said.