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More garbage carts resembling garbage in Tosa

Feb. 16, 2011

Does the garbage cart at the end of the driveway look more like it belongs in with the refuse rather than holding it? Wauwatosa garbage carts are aging and the number needing replacement is on the rise.

Each year an order for a truckload - roughly 500 carts - is placed. This year, the order will be increased to two truckloads to accommodate for the wear and tear, said Bill Wehrley, interim public works director.

Money to pay for the carts will come from the solid-waste budget and from the savings realized by deferring roof repairs at the public works transfer station. If recycling revenue remains strong - it exceeded 2010 expectations by $25,000 - then that money can be used for the roof later this year.

The Common Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve a contract to buy carts for $46 apiece. That price was the second lowest bid (a difference of $1.71 per cart) and was selected at the behest of public works crews who said the cart style makes it easier for the automated garbage trucks to pick up.

Alderman Bobby Pantuso questioned why residents looking to purchase a second garbage cart have to pay $75. The nearly $30 difference between the city's purchase price and the residents' covers the time staff would spend delivering the second carts, Wehrley said.

The city recycles discarded carts. The vendor collects the plastic bins in batches of 300 carts at a time and a local salvage operator shares with the city proceeds from the metal frames he recycles, according to Mike Kreiter, public works operations superintendent.

Kreiter advises residents with aging carts to be patient. The city has fielded numerous calls already and the new carts won’t be available for delivery for five to six weeks.

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