Perrysburg adjusts to automated trash pickup PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 10:27
File photo. New trash and recycling Toters are seen stacked at Perrysburg's Public Service Building. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
PERRYSBURG - The city's new automated refuse system is moving full steam ahead.
Employing new refuse trucks with robotic arms, as well as large wheeled toters for trash and recyclables, the innovated process started up April 22 and, despite a few snags, is going strong.
"We're very pleased," said Public Services Director Jon Eckel. "Things went pretty much to plan. We're still working through, I guess, we're tweaking the minor issues."
The new collection process, which has been planned since last year, is expected to save the city more than $300,000 annually, largely through reduced worker's compensation claims, as well as a smaller refuse workforce. No jobs are going to be cut - staff savings will come by leaving vacated positions empty.
Eckel said that working in the city's narrow alleys with the new trucks, as well as forgetful residents, have caused some issues and slowdowns for the burgeoning system.
"Monday was a little tough, with the alleys, because we're getting used to getting (trash) in a different way."
He said that some residents are not placing the toters where they need to be, or are placing them too close together, making it difficult for the robotic arm to grab them and necessitating some pauses in the work.
"We're placing little reminders and tags on the toters" to inform residents, he said, noting that toters should be spaced two feet apart, and not placed near or under obstructions, like telephone wires.
Eckel said that, due to these issues, the refuse pickup is currently taking about as long as on routes in the past.
"That does slow you down. Once people understand" the correct placement of the toters "it'll definitely go much faster."
"I think it was quite a success," he said of the first week of operation. "We're very pleased. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the (refuse workers) are coming up with new ideas" to alter collection route days, and other innovations to make it more efficient.

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