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Burlington's New Garbage Cart System Already In Use

Jason Parrott
The three options of trash carts that were available to Burlington residents.

Burlington's new trash collection system is already up and running, despite that fact that thousands of new trash carts have yet to be delivered.

Don Fitting, who's head of the city’s wastewater treatment plant, said crews started delivering nearly 10,000 carts citywide on Monday. He said some homes received their new carts in time to use them Wednesday.

“They did have a few carts they picked up,” said Fitting. “The [sanitation] crews particularly seemed to like the 65-gallon carts. They said they worked very smoothly with the tippers.”

The city installed two cart tippers to each of its rear-load garbage trucks. The tippers flip the carts upside down, dumping the contents of the carts into the truck.

The city offered:

  • 35-gallon cart
  • 65-gallon cart
  • 95-gallon cart

Fitting said about 70% of property owners selected the size of cart they wanted, which was much higher than the company providing the carts anticipated.
“The company said they average, historically, about 50% of the customers’ reply, so we actually did better than what it normally sees,” said Fitting. “We worked very, very hard to try to get the information out. I think that had a role in the response from the customers.”

Fitting said the 30% who did not respond automatically will receive a 65-gallon cart. He said the final tally was approximately:

  • 35 gallon – 3,000
  • 65 gallon – 5,700
  • 95 gallon – 1,200

The selection of a 35-gallon cart will not affect the monthly garbage rate for a customer. The 65-gallon cart will cost a customer an extra $3.25/month while the 95-gallon ups the monthly cost by $6.50.
Additional carts for a property can also be purchased.

Property owners will be required to pay to replace their carts unless a police report is filed or if they want a larger or smaller cart.

Fitting said the delivery of the carts should be completed by Oct. 6. He said the new program should improve the appearance of the city and reduce the number of injuries related to workers carrying overloaded garbage cans.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.