City officials are working over the next few months to roll out automated recycling collection.
Starting this summer wheeled recycling carts will take the place of traditional open-top bins that residents currently use for curbside recycling.
The infrastructure for automated recycling will be developed, new trucks will be ordered and employees trained on how to operate them throughout the spring. The carts will be delivered to residents in June.
The 65-gallon carts will be serviced using trucks with robotic arms that lift and dump the containers overhead. When collection using the new carts begins, the current bins will no longer be serviced.
The move to automated recycling was approved by the City Council in August to improve efficiency in city recycling, increase participation and conserve landfill capacity.
During a pilot automated cart study conducted last year in 3,000 households in seven Arlington neighborhoods, officials saw an increase in recyclables and the number of households that recycled.
A survey of roughly half of those households showed 74 percent preferred the automated carts over bins.
Arlington officials said the carts, which are being used in many other cities across the country, better contain loose recyclables like paper, plastic bottles and milk jugs that often are blown out of open-top recycling bins. This debris litters yards, streets and waterways.
Additionally, the automated system is expected to better protect against injury to collection workers who now work in teams to manually lift and empty the bins. Manual collection is slower and less efficient, officials said.
“Moving toward the automated system is a big trend in the hauling industry,” said Lorrie Anderle, the City’s recycling coordinator. “The carts are easy to maneuver and have more capacity.”
Anderle said because the carts hold more than the current 22-gallon bins, residents will have room to consider including more recycled materials.
“The exciting news is that once the new cart system is in place, an expanded list of acceptable materials will be imprinted right on the lid of the carts,” she said.
To participate in the recycling program, residents will be required to use a cart starting this summer when the containers are delivered. To opt out, residents may fill out an online form at the City’s website, call Republic Services at 817-317-2000 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To implement the program, monthly water bills will increase from $11.32 plus tax to $12.19 plus tax. The fee increase, which applies to all residential accounts, starts when the automated program begins, officials said.
Anderle said residents who use walkers or canes or who are unable to move their recycling to the curb could be eligible for door-side collection. There must be no other residents in the home physically able to move the recycling to the curb, and documentation such as a signed physician’s note or permanent handicap placard must be provided.
For more information about details of the new automated program, door-side service or how to opt out of the program, visit here or call 817-459-6778.