20 Apr Message regarding Garbage Pickup and Recycling From Superintendent Jon Kangas
North Country Disposal continues to provide residential curb-side garbage and recycling pickup during these unprecedented times and we greatly appreciate this essential service. We also know that folks are home cleaning their basements, garages, etc. and creating a significantly higher volume of trash. North County Disposal is honoring their contract with the Township by picking up all the trash left curbside.
However, the employees of this essential service are still at risk of exposure through contact with your trash. Therefore, several minor changes are necessary to minimize these concerns. Note that these changes are an enforcement of existing ordinance/contract requirements, not new requirements.
- Trash in grocery size bags is not acceptable as the volume of bags requiring contact is too high.
- Trash left unbagged in “garage cans” must now be bagged.
- Trash placed in “normal” bags must stay within the weight restrictions of the bag itself. i.e. a 30-32 gallon bag will typically handle 30 pounds of trash. (Please keep in mind that a full “contractor” bag could easily handle 80 pounds or more of trash. While most of these workers COULD lift an 80-pound bag alone, this is not a safe practice. Please consider social distancing requirements when topping off those large garbage bags. One back injury is too many and we don’t want to require two people to lift the same bag of trash.)
- Please ensure your recycling is in a hard-walled container and properly covered to ensure is doesn’t get degraded by inclement weather or blown away with the wind. Do not place recycling in bags. (This is especially important for fiber weeks, but applies all the time.)
Note regarding recycling: the Township is pursuing grant funding to purchase 64-gallon recycling carts with hinged lids. It will be some time yet before we know the results of our efforts, but we hope to be able to roll out a residential recycling cart program by October, if successful.
Enforcing these existing requirements will be effective Tuesday, April 21. Any trash placed curbside that is not properly bagged will not be picked up.
These requirements accomplish several goals:
1. Reducing potential exposure of sanitation workers to anything in your trash, whether it is COVID-19 or any other concern.
2. Reducing exposure to injuries for those employees lifting the trash into the trucks.
3. Reducing litter in your neighborhood from trash being blown out of non-bagged containers, and recycling being blown out of containers.
If we all conform to these simple expectations, we fully anticipate North Country Disposal will do an incredible job with helping maintain sanitary homes and neighborhoods. Thank you for your cooperation.
Jon Kangas, Superintendent of Public Works.