ASK THE TIMES: Rolling Carts for Heavy Recycling Loads?

A reader asks:

Now that we are allowed to put so many different items in the green recycling bins, mine is really heavy to lug out to the street. I know some cities provide wheeled carts, which are great because not only are they easy to roll, but their lids also keep stuff from blowing out on windy days. I doubt Falls Church has any money to spend on carts this year, but what if I were willing to pay for one myself? Would I be allowed to use one?

The answer is MAYBE.

Environmental Programs Specialist Kathy Allan, the City’s recycling guru, responds:

The City is still investigating ways (grants, stimulus money, contracts etc.) to obtain recycling carts for all solid waste curbside customers. At this time, we are not planning to institute a program whereby residents who choose to spend the money could buy a rolling container because: 

  1.  We save money by ordering in bulk, but we do not have space available for storing the number of carts necessary to buy to be cost effective.
  2. We would have to administer the tracking and ordering of carts (and we are cutting staff and budget).
  3. If we allow residents to pick their own cart, they may not all fit the requirements of the trucks we use for collection. There are a number of different configurations for the lift bar and different sizes of container.

 (That was the NO part. Now the good news:)

We do have an arrangement with our contractor to follow the same rules as we have for our refuse containers. If homeowners would like to buy their own containers, they must be less than 30 gallons, weigh less than 50 pounds when full, and must be clearly marked RECYCLING. There are containers of this size available with wheels. But customers should be aware that if they chose to spend their own money on a container and we subsequently change over to a specific model cart, they will be asked to use the City-supplied cart for ease of collection and the safety of the contractor.

 If any residents have experience with rolling recycling carts, please comment below. We’d be particularly interested to know if marking a regular trash can with the word RECYCLING does the trick, or whether it gets mistaken for garbage.

Have a question about the City that might be on fellow residents’ minds as well? Email your question here, and we’ll try to get an answer.

See also: Gasp! Roanoke Suburb Beats Falls Church as Top Recycler

May 11, 2009 


2 Responses to “ASK THE TIMES: Rolling Carts for Heavy Recycling Loads?”

  1. kathleen on May 11th, 2009 10:00 am

    Arlington County is providing the wheeled carts for Arlington households this year.

  2. Kathy Allan on May 11th, 2009 2:04 pm

    We have a quite a mixture of carts, bins, and containers on the street. If you make sure that is is painted a bright color or marked recycling and place the container away from your trash can, you should not have a problem. Also keep in mind that your trash can must also be less than 30 gallons and weigh less than 50 pounds. Thanks,

    Kathy Allan
    Environmental Programs Specialist

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