Chanute residents have questions about the planned changes in trash pickup. City officials are working on answers, but it will take more time for everything to get sorted out.
Are the new trash carts meant to be left at the curb in front of the house all week long?
How is the city going to address the large number of people who park on the street?
What about the elderly who are unable to haul a cart to the front yard?
“I’m gathering the game plan now,” City Manager Todd Newman said.
In October, the Chanute city commission approved the purchase of two new sanitation trucks to replace the three trucks currently in use. The new trucks will have a self-loading feature that requires particular trash cans.
At Monday’s meeting, the commission approved purchasing carts in 96-, 64- and 48-gallon sizes. Newman told the commission that he expects the trucks to be delivered in July or August and city workers are already developing information on what areas may be trouble spots.
“They’re taking a bunch of notes,” Newman said Wednesday.
Current city ordinance limits trash can sizes to 32 gallons, which prohibits metal 55-gallon barrels.
When the city voted to purchase the trucks, officials were not sure if they could be used in existing alleys for pickup because of height and weight restrictions.
Many cities that switched to self-loading trucks completely drop alley pickup in favor of curbside pickup.
Newman said Wednesday that the new trucks should be able to go down about half of the alleys for trash pickup.
The issue of which alleys are too narrow is part of the information the trash crews are gathering.
Chanute has many neighborhoods that were developed a century ago and have narrow lot frontage or lack driveways that access the street. In those areas that need to switch to curbside pickup, officials will look at restricting curbside parking.
Officials will also need to look at restricting street parking to make sure emergency vehicles have access down older, narrow streets. The ordinance may limit street parking only on trash pickup days, while allowing it at other times.
In some areas of town, streets do not have curbs and gutters, but have ditches for drainage.
The carts tilt backwards to balance over 10 -inch wheels so the user doesn’t carry the entire weight. The carts vary in height from 37 inches to 43 inches, with a maximum load of 168 to 335 pounds.
Newman plans to hold workshops with the city commission in the summer after workers have gathered enough information. Crews will make dry runs with the new trucks and routes before the service officially rolls out near January.
“We’re not going to throw those trucks out into the public,” Newman said.
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