On Friday, May 18 the City of Spirit Lake received delivery of its new automated sanitation truck from Elliott Equipment Co. of Grimes, Iowa.  The truck will be put into use commencing the week of June 4 as the City transitions to residential automated garbage pickup.  The City Council has been studying the benefits of moving to an automated system of garbage collection since the summer of 2016, and since last summer has been working towards implementing the system in June of 2018.  The new system will involve the use of 65 gallon containers (“carts”).  The cart manufacturer, SSI Schaefer, will be delivering the carts to Spirit Lake on Tuesday, May 29 and start delivering the carts to residential solid waste customers and that process may take as little as two to three days.  Schaefer will have instructions for the use of the carts included with the cart upon delivery.  Residents will see the carts appear in front of their residence in the right of way adjacent to the curb as they are delivered, during the week they are delivered residents will still need to use their green bags.

One cart will be provided free of charge to each residential solid waste customer who presently uses the City’s green bags, which will no longer be required of customers who receive carts.  Initially, there will be no change to the days on which residential, or other, customer’s solid waste is collected.  

The City will start using the new truck for collection commencing the week of June 4.  Although the days of collection will remain the same, to use the truck efficiently the City Sanitation Department may follow different routes.  To ensure pickup of garbage, carts will need to be out and ready for collection no later than 7:00 a.m. on the day of pickup, and may be put out the night before.

Carts may be placed at the end of the resident’s driveway adjacent to the street, or in the yard adjacent to the curb. Residents should take care to make sure no vehicles or other obstructions interfere with the ability of the truck to reach the cart.

The Sanitation Department will be studying routes, time saved in collection and feedback from residents over the course of the summer months.  It will also be evaluating the preferences and needs of commercial customers and individuals who live in dwellings or apartments in the downtown commercial district who presently use green bags for solid waste collection and the system will likely be expanded later in the summer, once actual data about how the system works in practice can be evaluated.  Initially, the new system will be implemented only for the approximately 1800-1900 residential customers in residential areas of the City of Spirit Lake.