WILMINGTON — New trash cans are expected to be delivered to every residence in Wilmington in this month as the city plans to use automated trash trucks with mechanical arms to dispose of trash instead of two sets of human arms on the back of every truck.
“Right now we have a very conventional method of picking up garbage,” said Braden Dunham, superintendent of Wilmington’s solid waste department. “It’s simply trash bags and trash cans that everybody has to drag out to the curb. … It’s time that we change.”
Dunham said automation would require only one person, instead of three, is safer, cheaper, keeps litter out of neighborhoods, reduces wear and tear on city streets, improves curb appeal through uniform trash cans and encourages recycling by limiting the volume of trash a household can throw away.
In response to questions, Dunham said the truck could lift trash cans from between cars, if they were spaced out at least three feet, could follow a circular curb and said trash cans can be placed level on top of snow in the winter.
Selection cards were recently sent, asking residents whether they want a 95-gallon or a 65-gallon trash can. Dunham recommended small families and elderly consider the 65-gallon ones and said standard trash cans hold 35-gallons. If a resident fails to respond, the 95-gallon trash cans will be the default choice.
Dunham said the trash cans will be delivered where residents must place them for trash pickup. The first trash can is free, and additional trash cans are available for a 50 percent increase to the monthly refuse fee.
Old trash cans won’t be able to be used, Dunham said, and the new ones will be city-owned but the responsibility of citizens. A 10-year manufacturer’s warranty will insure the trash can from damage.
Wilmington resident Paul Hunter said old trash cans can be made into composters, and Dunham said he was researching ways to get rid of residents’ old trash cans.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.