Local News

High-Tech Trash Collection Begins In Raleigh

Posted June 21, 2005 3:13 a.m. EDT

— Raleigh goes high-tech Tuesday with a weekly chore -- trash collection.

The city started using an automated style of trash collection trucks in Northwest Raleigh and is expected to go citywide by the end of summer.

The truck, which requires only one worker, has a mechanical arm that reaches out and dumps the garbage can.

The simple change, however, means some changes for thousands of Raleigh residents as well.

The city says to get the full $3.5 million in savings a year, citizens have to properly place trash cans at the street.

Officials said that trashcans should be placed on the street curb at least 5 feet from mailboxes and cars to ensure the automated arm does not cause any damage.

All trash must also be inside the trashcan," said Gerald Latta, director of Raleigh Solid Waste.

"The main problem is garbage left outside the cans," Latta said. "It requires the driver to get out, and you lose your efficiency there because you can't move along the route as quickly."

The city said it is making an effort to pick up all trash Tuesday -- even that outside the can -- by putting an extra worker on the trucks. The grace period, officials said, will only last a few weeks, then trash outside cans will not be collected.

Officials said they realizes some larger items may not fit in residents' trashcans. Beginning July 1, the city said there is a new free service that will pick up bulky items such as microwaves and sofas. To use the service, residents should call

(919) 831-6880