RACINE — The Department of Public Works plans to launch its new system for handling solid waste, bulky items, recycling and yard waste on Monday.
DPW Commissioner John Rooney presented the new system to the Public Works and Services Committee on Jan. 14 and then presented it before the City Council on Jan. 21.
Since those presentations, the department’s website on solid waste collection (cityofracine.org/solidwaste) has been updated to include the new waste collection schedule and map and an updated waste collection look-up tool that allows residents to sign up for email and/or text reminders of their collection dates. The city has also sent out pamphlets explaining the new system with the new bulky waste stickers to 26,000 property owners and occupants, which Rooney said should arrive this weekend or Monday.
On Thursday, Rooney seemed confident the changes, particularly to bulky-waste collection will move the city toward its goals of reducing waste, providing better service and saving taxpayers money.
“Is it bullet proof and 100% perfect? I wouldn’t say that,” said Rooney. “But it’s a step in the right direction.”
Summary of changes
One of the biggest changes under the new system is how the city will handle waste collection on holidays. Under the old system, a Monday holiday would mean that crews on Tuesday would have to collect in both the Monday and Tuesday regions.
The new system will rotate collection days back, so the area that was picked up on Mondays would be picked up on Tuesday, Tuesday’s area would be picked up on Wednesday, etc. That new collection date would remain until the next holiday, which would move everyone back another day.
Rooney said in his presentation that his department would not punish people for setting out their garbage a day early, but would work to remind them about the new system.
Residents will also be able to set out up-to three additional 42-gallon garbage bags alongside their carts.
Another big change will be bulky waste pick-up. Instead of calling the DPW to schedule a bulky waste pickup, each residence will be able set out up-to five items per week to be collected with their regular bagged garbage.
The items need to be tagged with the DPW’s bulky-waste stickers, which officials said residents should receive this weekend. Additional stickers will be available for free at: the city clerk’s and DPW offices at City Hall, 730 Washington Ave.; the Racine Public Library, 75 Seventh St.; the Pearl Street facility, 801 Pearl St.; the Street Maintenance Department office, 800 S. Marquette St.; and at Racine community centers.
Residents will also be able to leave out one clear blue bag of recycling alongside their recycling cart as well as any cardboard small enough to be handled by one person.
For businesses, the city will no longer accept bagged recycling and will require all recyclable materials to be in a cart. The city also plans to crack down on businesses that break glass items so that more can be fit into a cart. Overweight carts will not be picked up.
The bulky-waste collection satellite centers at 1936 Edgewood Ave. and 1955 Grove Ave. will be closed. Green waste, such as grass clippings and other yard waste, will no longer be picked up, except during fall and spring leaf collection; such waste can still be dropped off at the facility at 800 Pearl St.