The City of Waukesha Department of Public Works has announced changes to the garbage and recycling program in 2015, involving new bins, new technology, and an emphasis on the environment. The new system is called ‘automated’ pickup, as opposed to the current ‘manual’ collection.

Automated pickup involves garbage and recycling trucks with a mechanical arm that grabs the curbside cart off the ground and flips up over the top of the truck. The contents dump into the truck and the arm then returns the cart to the same spot on the ground where it was. This process saves time and money—not to mention the backs of the drivers, who currently get out of the trucks and pick up every bag and barrel.

As part of this new system, every resident will be receiving two new provided carts —one for garbage and one for recycling. The carts are tall, have a lid, two wheels, and handles for rolling out to the curb. The standard issue carts will be large in most parts of the city. Residents will have the opportunity to opt for a smaller sized cart if they do not desire the large size. This option to notify the city of your cart preference will begin later this summer.

In addition to the automated system, the recycling collection will move to ‘single sort’— meaning all recyclable items may be placed in the same cart together, without the need for bundling paper or separating paper from bottles and cans. Also, an expanded list of materials will be collected for recycling, including more plastics. Recycling collection will remain every‐other‐week.

For residents with an alley, alleys will be serviced mostly the same way as they are today, with manual pick up and the smaller trucks. Residents may be receiving a slightly larger bin for recyclables, but will not likely getting the large carts on wheels. This is due to the limited space within the alley.

A big change is for how large items are to be handled. The current system allows for large items to be placed out for pickup, such as furniture; this will not be the case in the future. However, there will still be an option in place for residents to be able to set out ‘bulky trash’ at certain times – like furniture pieces. It has not been determined yet if this will be once a month or will be a call-in system where a resident would have to call to request the special pick up.

The city anticipates this combined transition to automated collection and single sort recycling will result in money savings for the city taxpayers and increased recycling. The city wants to encourage residents to continually learn and practice sustainable habits including reducing waste and increasing reuse and recycling.

Please contact Dustin Nolan, Recycling and Solid Waste Coordinator, by emailing or calling 262‐524‐3593, with any questions about this future program. And look for more public information soon!