City begins trash can education campaign

There’s a right way to toss the trash.

The City of Morristown has begun their public information campaign about new garbage can rules to enable the use of automated garbage trucks.

“The handle you use to pull the trash can just needs to be pointed toward your house and when we say within two feet of the curb, it just needs to be close enough to the road that the ‘arm’ can reach out and get it,” said Public Works Director Paul Brown. “That claw comes in and it needs room to be open and go in to close around the can.”

Door hangers have been distributed with all the new rules and regulations to Morristown residents.

The regulations allow the automated garbage truck arms to grab, lift and empty the cans without littering.

If the cans are not set out in the proper manner, the garbage will not be collected.

Here are the rules as stated by the door hangers being distributed:

• All household refuse/garbage items placed in the cart must be bagged and curbside by 7:30 p.m. Holiday makeup is 6 a.m.

• The lid of the cart must close completely. If the lid is not closed, the cart will not be emptied.

• No garbage or bags outside or on top of the cart will be collected.

• The handle of the can must point toward the house.

• Do not lean anything against the cart or place anything on the lid of the cart as it can’t be lifted for dumping.

• The initial issued cart is the property of the City of Morristown. Each cart has a serial number assigned to the address to which it is delivered.

• Additional carts may be purchased for a fee and are the property of the property owner.

• If you have two or more carts the carts, the carts must be placed at least four feet apart within two feet of the curb. In addition, the carts must be at least four feet from poses, fire hydrants, parked vehicles or any other obstacles.

• Do not place the following in the cart:

o Hot ashes, solvents, paints, oils or flammable liquids

o Dirt, rocks, concrete, limbs or building materials

o Animals or unbagged feces

While the new system brings cost savings and efficiency improvements, Brown said the major benefit to the city is safety because the new trucks only need a single person to operate the vehicle from the cab.

“The number one benefit is safety,” he said. “Riding the back of the garbage truck is a dangerous job.”

If residents have any questions regarding the pickup schedule or correct disposal of items they can call the public works department 423-585-4658.

The new trucks are being readied for service and will be seen on the streets of Morristown next month.

“We plan on putting them on the road in August,” Brown said. “Even government vehicles have to get tags and all that.”