Plant City's new collection system continues forward
An update on how effective the new Cart-to-Curb Waste Management Program has been, was presented at the Plant City City Commission meeting, on Monday, Dec. 13.
The initiative is to collect trash in a more efficient and safe manner with the use of automated collection trucks equipped with a mechanical arm, as well as new trash carts.
Residents can choose carts ranging in size from 95, 65 and 35 gallons. It’s also a means of cutting operating costs and stabilizing monthly rates. This project is being overseen by the Plant City Solid Waste Department.
The plan, which was approved by the Plant City Commission last year, is broken into two phases. Phase 1 is designed to facilitate one-half of residential customers, while Phase 2 caters to the second half.
The first phase has already been implemented and its results were presented to the city commission during the most recent meeting.
In June of last year, four automated collection trucks were ordered. Throughout the latter half of 2020, the Solid Waste Department used post cards, solid waste guides, and educational videos, among others, to notify the public.
Also, feedback from the community was taken into consideration through surveys. In July and August of this year, the new carts were distributed to homes. The new system started on Aug. 30, however the outcome was not foreseen.
“The number of customers in Phase 1 was a little higher than we expected,” said Jill Sessions, director of the Plant City Solid Waste Department. “We also expected Phase 1 to be bigger than Phase 2, but the way the city is growing, Phase 2 – we estimate to be about 5,600 customers.”
She added that this is a plus as it will increase revenues.
Also, the automated trucks have allowed the truck drivers to maneuver around busy corridors such as Collins Street and Park Road.
For those who cannot push the cart to the curb of the road, truck drivers will assist them. Customers are allowed to have only four overfilled carts a year, free of charge.
If there’s a delay in certain cart sizes, the city will still provide manual service for those still waiting.
The carts should be placed by the curbs by 6 a.m. and no earlier than dusk the night before. It also should be located within six feet of the pavement at the front of the yard and no less than three feet away from objects such as poles, trees or mailboxes.
The new monthly rates will be $27.50 for the 95-gallon cart, $25.50 for the 65-gallon cart and $23 for the 35-gallon cart.
Phase 2 service will begin in August 2022 and will follow the same procedure as Phase 1.