Denison residents have now had a couple of months to adjust to the automatd trash pickup. And while the city has faced a few minor hiccups along the way, the transiton has been smoother than expected.
The city spent $500,000 on 9,000 new carts and $1 million on three all new trucks to begin the automated trash routes. Denison Public Works Director Jimmy Moon said the city runs all three trucks daily to an estimated 8,500 homes, and the trucks have saved the city on trips to the landfil.
Moon is confident in the success of the program.
“Right now everything is going good,” Moon said. “There was an educational curve we had to go through. We had a conversation with staff to ensure they knew what needed to happen to get used to the new routes.”
One area the city corrected course right away was in the cost for the second cart as well as brush pickup. At a May city council meeting the city lowered the cost of a second cart from $20 to $13. It also reduced the cost for an unscheduled brush pickup from $40 to $30.
At the time City Manager Jud Rex said the city reduced the fees once it learned what the real cost for the service was.
Before the transition he said the city trucks went to the landfil every day. Now they only got three to four times a week. Under the old routes the city ran two truns three days a week and three trucks two days a week. All trucks went to the landfil every day. Moon said the city runs all three trucks every day. He said fewer trips to the landfil saves the city money, as does the lower maintenance cost on the trucks.
Moon said city workers set up obstacles onsite for a two-week training period prior to going out with the new trucks.
He said the city spent a lot of time educating the public on the transition.
“The transition has been pretty good,” Moon said. “There was a learning curve at first. Once they (customers) understood it they apprreciated it.”
Denison transition to automated trash pick-up on April 1, and Denison officials first discussed the plans to convert from manual trash pick-up to a system using a claw truck for residential waste last year during Denison’s annual budget retreat and included it in the 2018-2019 budget.
Automated systems are already in use in the city of Sherman and other cities across the region.