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Test drive a Toter — that’s one element of the information campaign being planned by Perrysburg officials to help city residents prepare for the transition to automated refuse and recycling pickup.
The target date for implementation is April 22 in conjunction with Earth Day, said Judy Hagen, program coordinator with the Recycling and the Litter Prevention and Beautification departments.
By then, the city will have held public meetings, inserted flyers into water bills, made videos and fact sheets available online, and set up interactive displays where residents can have a hands-on experience with the 96-gallon wheeled, flip-lid bins that will cart their garbage to the curb.
“They are so easy,” Ms. Hagen said.
Each city customer will be given two Toters, one for refuse and one for recycling.
Those with minimal waste needs will have the option of a smaller container, officials have said.
Collections days remain the same, although it will be imperative to enforce the 7 a.m. deadline for getting bins to the curb, Ms. Hagen said.
The automated system is expected to be efficient, she said.
Each Toter can hold up to 300 pounds of material. Recyclables will not have to be separated, stacked, bound, or sorted by any method. If it fits in the Toter, it gets collected.
“We recycle just about everything you can think of,” Ms. Hagen said.
Exceptions remain for hazardous household waste, construction debris, auto parts, electronics, or yard waste.
The city plans special drop-off dates throughout the year for those materials, or it can arrange pickup of items such as tires.
There still will be weekly unlimited pickup of large items such as furniture or carpet remnants, which need to be cut and secured into a maximum of 65 pounds a roll.
The city’s standard, rear-loading truck will come by and workers will throw those parcels in by hand just as they do now, Ms. Hagen said.
The only essential changes for customers are the type of container customers will use and that a different kind of vehicle will collect it.
Drivers using a joystick in the cab and watching by video monitor will extend a mechanical arm, grab a container, lift it up into the hopper, set it back down with a closed lid, and move onto the next bin, all in a matter of seconds.
“We’ve been doing garbage the same way ... for 30 years,” said Gary Kuhr, Lands and Sanitation superintendent.
Mr. Kuhr said alley collections will be done by a combination of automated and rear-loading vehicles, depending on the space. Some old trucks will be retrofitted with a Toter arm, he said.
One difference for alleys is that Toters cannot be in any kind of corral or enclosure that some use to keep out critters, Ms. Hagen said.
The mechanical arm needs free clearance to be able to grab and lift the bin. Besides, she said, getting rid of the open boxes will cut down on animal foraging.
“Curbside shopping,” in which people take items such as furniture or scrap metal that customers have set out on the curb, is still permitted, she said.
However, only the city can collect the recyclables.
“It’s a commodity, it generates revenue,” Ms. Hagen said.
Cardboard that may not fit in the recycling bin can be dropped off at city collection sites at 211 East Boundary St. and 11980 Roachton Rd.
The city will continue its service of carry-out/carry-back, in which customers 65 years or older or those with disabilities or other difficulties getting materials to the curb can leave their Toters on an area close to their home, and the truck driver will fetch it and return it to that spot. Those customers should call the city for a permit sticker, and the bins must be accessible by a paved path, Ms. Hagen said.
Toters will be delivered to customers a week before implementation and will include a brochure on how to use them.
Ms. Hagen advised that keeping the lid closed keeps out any precipitation and thus reduces the city’s tipping fees at the landfill.
“It keeps your neighborhood neater,” she added.
For information or to schedule services, call the city refuse department at 419-872-8020.