Posted on: August 7, 2017

Minot's new trash collection system off to a good start

Minot’s new trash collection system has been in use for nearly a month, and Sanitation Department Superintendent John Reynolds said he and his crews have learned a great deal since the new system was implemented.

Sanitation crews began using new automated trucks to collect trash on July 17, after more than 12,500 new trash containers were delivered to Minot residents. As expected, there have been some bumps along the way.

“We knew there were going to be things we couldn’t anticipate,” Reynolds said. “But we were prepared to react to whatever came our way, and continue to provide the best possible service to the residents of Minot.”

The City is in the process of swapping carts for about 340 residents who requested a different sized cart than the one originally delivered to them. The switch is expected to take a couple of weeks to complete. In addition, the City received more than 125 requests for the valet service and is in the process of evaluating and finalizing those requests.

Some of the lessons learned in the first few weeks include:

  • Delivering 12,500 trash receptacles isn’t easy. Even though the job was done by a private company, Reynolds said delivering the carts and matching them electronically with a specific address is complicated. About 100 residents initially did not receive the new carts; most of those residents didn’t have an active utility bill at the time the delivery list was made. During delivery, the City also found that about 250 properties were receiving trash collection services but were not being charged. As of early August, all residents should have new carts. The delivery of the new containers and the beginning of the new automated system allowed the City an opportunity to review the entire sanitation system, from address corrections to billing issues.
  • The process of informing Minot residents about the new collection system is ongoing. While most residents have quickly acclimated themselves to the new system, Reynolds said providing accurate and timely information to anyone with questions is crucial in making the system successful. “We are available to answer any and all questions,” Reynolds said. “Our phone lines at Public Works were pretty busy the first couple of weeks after the new system began, and that’s something we anticipated. We just want to make sure everyone with a question or a concern is getting an accurate answer.”
  • Change can take time to accept. For residents who expressed concern over the change to the new system, Reynolds continues to preach patience. “We are confident that once residents get used to the new system, they will see the advantages and efficiencies it provides,” he said. “We recognize it’s not easy for residents to change habits, but we think we’ve been able to help create a smooth transition.”

As residents and sanitation crews alike continue to familiarize themselves with the new system, Reynolds offers a few reminders for residents to help ensure they are satisfied with their sanitation collection service.

  • Any trash, in bags, boxes or other containers, left on the ground next to the new collection carts will not be picked up by City crews.
  • It’s not necessary to write your address or any other information on the new containers, which have three forms of identification built into them.
  • When putting cardboard boxes into the new containers, please completely break down the boxes. Simply folding them and stuffing them into the containers can cause problems.
  • Stuffing as much trash as possible into the new containers makes it difficult to empty them. Residents who do so risk having their containers not emptied completely as trash may get stuck inside the cart.
  • Please do not put trees in the new carts. Place the trees next to the cart, and City crews will pick up the trees on Wednesdays, which are reserved for doing tree pickup and pickups of large items.

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