- Key West, FL city officials want to invest more than half a million dollars on 11,856 new, 96-gallon green Toter brand carts for residential trash — a possible requirement of contractor Waste Management to replace the decade-old carts the company now provides.
- Waste Management said carts must be wheeled, lidded, 35 to 96 gallons, and "suited to automatic dumping equipment."
- If the city purchases the polyethylene Toter carts — which carry a 12-year warranty — they will offer a level of flexibility to the city, according to Utilities Director John Paul Castro. However opponents of the proposal believe that $586,279 too much money to spend on garbage cans.
The city just spent upwards of $631,000 on new blue recycling carts in 2013 to raise its paltry 7% recycling rate, managing to bump it up to 20% and 21% for residential and commercial collections, respectively. Officials are trying to figure out how they would make another high-dollar investment if Waste Management expects the city to buy cans for what would mount to every resident other than in a few small communities like unincorporated Monroe and Marathon.
The company’s Keys manager, Greg Sullivan, said the Toter trash cans are industry standard and compatible with the trucks' lifting systems.
"The mechanical-type cans save a lot of issues with worker's comp," he said to KeysInfoNet, though he warns residents would have to label them as they get stolen regularly.
However City Commissioner Billy Wardlow, who claims his trash can is in good shape, doesn't believe there is a need for so many new cans at once. "We could replace them when someone needs one, or get half as many or a third," he said to KeysInfoNet.
Meanwhile manufacturers are continuing to come up with bigger and better garbage cans from those with solar-powered compactors to one with a sonar-driven sensor that determines containers’ fullness. Some city’s are buying in; Baltimore just spent $9 million for “smart trash cans” complete with wheels, tight-fitting lids, and RFID tracking devices.
Key West commissioners will vote on the matter on Tuesday.