Residents in Council Bluffs, Iowa is preparing for a change in their trash pick up as the city shifts to an automated trash and recycling collection system.
Soon, locals will see new garbage trucks with robots navigating the streets to collect their trash. These remote-controlled trucks are now an industry standard, and the nearby city of Omaha made the shift roughly three years ago.
“It will be a more efficient program collection will be quicker at the homes. It’s a cleaner look on the streets, reduces blown litter,” said Tony Fiala, Council Bluffs solid waste superintendent. “Worker safety is one of the big keys here. We don’t have as many people out on the ground actually picking up the containers.”
With the new trucks comes new garbage cans. So far, around 40,000 new 96-gallon carts for garbage and recycling have been delivered to residents of Council Bluffs.
“That’s 96 gallons of room collected every other week. It’s co-mingled recycling, so they can mix all the plastics together, cardboard, tin, and aluminum cans. We are excluding glass from the program,” said Fiala.
While automated trucks reduce litter and make things easier, it also makes trash collection safer as workers don’t need to leave their trucks to pick up cans. Mary Chambers, a Council Bluffs resident said she believes keeping workers in the trucks to use a robot arm will be much safer than working out in the street.
“When you’re driving down Twin City Drive... people they don’t exactly go very slow down here,” said Chambers.