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New trash system set to launch

Feb. 3 will be start date in FD

December 10, 2013
By BILL SHEA ( , Messenger News

When a new style of garbage truck rolls into Fort Dodge within days, the process of switching to a different way of picking up trash and recycling material in the city will begin.

The use of that new method will start Feb. 3.

For residents, that system will mean they can toss all the recyclables into one container without separating the different kinds of materials.

But they'll have to get used to having the recycling picked up every other week instead of weekly. And some may find it a challenge to maneuver and store the two 96-gallon containers they will receive.

Public Works Director Greg Koch briefed the City Council on the upcoming change Monday evening.

The new collection system relies upon trucks that have a mechanical arm for lifting and emptying containers of both trash and recycling material.

In July, the City Council approved the purchase of two of those trucks for $521,445.76. That price includes $278,081.76 to Rees Truck & Trailer, of Fort Dodge, for the Mack chassis and $243,364 to Elliott Equipment Co., of Grimes, for the refuse collection bodies to be mounted on the chassis.

Koch said those trucks will be delivered as early as next week. He said public works employees will train with them throughout the rest of December and January.

The vehicles will be displayed during an open house at the city's central garage, 3001 Eighth Ave. S., on Jan. 18, he added.

In October, the City Council purchased about 16,000 refuse containers from Otto Environmental Systems of Charlotte, N.C., for $822,036.98.

Beginning on Jan. 20, personnel from that company will begin delivering the new containers to homes, according to Koch. He said each home will get two: one for trash and one for recycling materials.

The city has 8,383 sanitation customers.

Koch said the containers should be used starting with the Feb. 3 collection.

He said Feb. 5 will be the first day that recycling materials will be collected. He said residents will place their recycling containers out for pickup every other week on Wednesdays.

Residents can keep the blue bins currently used for recycling collections, according to Koch. He said if people do not want the bins, they can take them to the central garage or call the Public Works Department to get them picked up.

Frank Farmer, a former city engineer and public works director, questioned Koch about the need for 96-gallon containers.

''You're just encouraging people to not recycle because everything will fit in the garbage can,'' Farmer said.

He added that some residents won't be able to fit both containers in their garage.

''To me, it doesn't make sense to have that big of a can,'' he said.

Councilman Robert ''Barney'' Patterson also expressed concern about the ability of residents to store the containers indoors.

''I'm afraid we'll have these cans sitting out all over town,'' he said.



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