LANSING— Recently, Lansing has adopted a new trash collection policy that will benefit residents, workers and the environment.
According to Lansing’s website, the change was initiated to increase trash collection efficiency, to reduce driver injury, to prevent animals from entering trash bags and to avoid wear and tear on roads caused by garbage trucks.
The proposal states that by the end of 2019, trash bags will no longer be collected. Residents will now have the option to purchase city issued trash carts.
There will be three different sized carts to choose from, a 32,65 and 95-gallon. The 32-gallon cart will cost $48/three months and will hold two to three bags, the 65-gallon cart will be $52/three months and will hold four to five bags and the 95-gallon cart will be $56/ three months and will hold up to six to eight bags.
Trash services will be provided weekly and residents are asked to have their carts out no later than 7 a.m. on collection days.
“The City is offering a discount as well as new options, including every other week service, in order to assist residents during this transition away from using trash bags,” said Schor’s Communications Manager Valerie Marchand.
The bi-weekly trash service will soon be available for residents. This option is for households that produce minimal trash. The service is $24/ three months and will only be available for the 32-gallon cart. It is advised that trash sitting outside of trash bins will not be collected.
Residents that are not in favor of the plan still have the option to have their trash picked up by a private collection service.
Residents may also share their cart service with their neighbors to reduce cost.
The city is aware of low-income families and have reduced rates for those who qualify. This rate will only apply to the 32-gallon cart option.
By city ordinance trash carts are to be removed from the curbside within 24 hours of collection or a fee will be issued. The first offense will be $25, the second $50 and third $250.
In comparison to surrounding cities, Lansing will have a stricter garbage collection policy.
According to East Lansing’s website, residents also have the option to buy three different size carts. The 32-gallon has a one-time fee of $55, the 64-gallon has a one-time fee of $70 and the 96-gallon cart is $79 with an annual fee of $90.
East Lansing residents are granted more flexibility with the option to purchase yellow city-issued trash bags in addition to their trash carts.
“Going from bags to carts are going to be a lot better for us because people put a lot of weight in those bags,” said Lansing garbage truck driver Pablo Chaples.
To prevent carts from being too heavy, the city asks that residents keep yard waste, recyclables, dirt, stones, rocks and hazardous wastes out of the trash.
According to the Safety and Health Magazine, garbage collectors experience many injuries due to sprains, strains and overexertion due to hopping on and off garbage trucks and handling heavy loads. They are also exposed to many hazardous materials.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, solid waste collectors were ranked the fifth most dangerous job in America.
CART trucks now have an extended arm to collect trash bins that will reduce physical injuries.
“I have one of my employees on workers comp from a bad knee and I’ve had more than a dozen have surgeries and on workers comp for shoulder injuries, knees, hips and pulling muscles,” said CART Operations Manager Jeff Hettich.
Marchand said that the carts are durable and resilient and will be more convenient for residents to easily wheel them to and from the curbside.
“It’ll be a lot better for the drivers and residents too from the bags not ripping open and being able to save our arms and body,” said CART truck driver Chris Villarreal.
While there is no guarantee that this transition will be a success, Marchand said that they currently have over 10,000 CART trash service users and have seen an increase in sign-up since the announcement has been made.
Residents that sign up for weekly CART trash services before Sept. 30, will receive $20 off their first quarter bill.