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Is there a rumor you've heard that you would like to track down? Is there something in the city — like playground equipment or a pothole — that needs to be fixed? Rick Romano answers some of the mysteries of life in Wauwatosa and helps solve everyday problems.

Why won't the city pick up my garbage if a car is parked in front of it?

Issue: A resident of the 2500 block of 69th Street asked that question and wondered if it is a new rule.

'Why can't the city employee get out of his truck and move my carts to collect the trash?' he wrote.

Status: Operations Supt. Kevin Hurst said the resident's question is not a new one, but noted that the city has invested in an automatic collection system where trucks can pick up the cans via a mechanical arm.

'There are a couple of things to consider,' Hurst said. 'Our one-man crews sometimes go to 1,000 stops per shift, then they come back wash out the truck to get it ready for a recycling pick up the next day. That takes time.'

Hurst said the city is bound by law to clean the vehicles so that trash is not mingled with recyclables and that fines could occur on an unannounced inspection.

The other issue, he said, is that some drivers are filling in for regular crews.

'There are times when a driver will get out and move the cart for pickup, but it doesn't occur on a regular basis,' Hurst said.

The city collection rule for residents is to place carts at the end of the driveway or within a few feet of it on the street. Hurst said that works because parking is not permitted close to driveways.

Send questions to news@cninow.com.

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