Poly carts take pounding in public comment period

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

The city received its final tally on trash bins versus poly carts, and poly carts took a pounding.

After the public comment period expired Friday on the trial program, the city received 537 pieces of correspondence on the trial period for poly carts. Only 11 of them were in favor of the poly carts.

The city put about 1,700 units for the trial program, with service areas including houses in Colonial Park, along Fairway Terrace and inside an area enclosed within 21st Street and Plaza Drive and Main and Gidding streets.

Claire Burroughes of the city manager’s office said the residents who wrote in favor of the carts said the system would be cleaner than shared dumpsters in alleys. Detractors noted issues with weight and maneuverability, and trash spillage from strong winds blowing the carts over.

City Engineer Justin Howalt said those comments would certainly have a factor on what the city decides is the next step. The next public meeting on the topic is an 8:30 a.m. June 30 Public Works Committee meeting at City Hall.

“One option would be to convert those areas back to dumpsters, (but) we’ll always still have poly cart routes in some areas of town. We’ll use those for replacements.”

Howalt added that the city’s contract with the supplier allows the city to sell carts back to the supplier at a reduced rate, and the carts would be melted down.

The city looked at the switch as a way to save money, noting reduced fuel costs. The poly cart routes take less fuel because the hydraulic system on sanitation trucks requires more fuel to lift trash bins.