City crews will continue to pick up trash and recyclable materials, but officials are asking residents to hold onto the bulky items, such as furniture and appliances, as they provide essential services amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“If it is possible to delay the placement of items to the curb until the city is back up and running fully, it would be greatly appreciated,” Keir Powell, the city’s waste superintendent, said Tuesday. “The drop-off site (at 1001 50th St.) is currently open; however, it is strongly recommended that use of the site is limited in order to mitigate the CDC recommended distance. The vast majority of services provided at the site are also provided curbside. The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 policies are fluid. As they change, the Public Works Department will update its policies. As always, the residents of Kenosha will be kept informed.”
Powell said the city’s normal curbside collection for garbage and recycling “will continue unchanged.”
Crews will be exercising social distancing protocols as prescribed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“After consulting with the County Health Director, Jen Freiheit, the risk of contamination from curbside material is low,” he said.
Crew members already use personal protective equipment, a requirement. The bulk truck, however, will have a second collector follow in a pickup truck to maintain CDC social distance protocol, he said.
“There will, at times, be staff paired up on the side loading trucks to dilute the workload that we expect to increase. CDC distance can be maintained on those trucks. Collectors will have to continue to use their discretion when encountering any policy violations,” Powell said.
He urged residents and businesses that receive services to follow all current regulations for trash and recycling collection that are still in place.
“The volume of trash put to the curb is anticipated to increase due to school closings and kids being home, as well as additional trash from carry-out services at restaurants instead of dine-in service. The Waste Division will make every effort to collect all material from the curb; however, please be aware of the weight and number of bags and containers put to the curb, as everything has to be collected manually, he said. “We understand many residents would like to take this unfortunate but available time to tackle spring cleaning early. The Waste Division would appreciate the residents discretion in how much is put on the curb to collect.”
Because collection crews handle material without the aid of automated arms or heavy equipment, “the risk of injury and/or contamination is real,” Powell said.
Additional information for waste and recycling can be found at https://www.kenosha.org/departments/public-works/waste-recycling.
While the city has suspended public information sessions on the planned rollout of its new automated system, Powell said the system is still on track for delivering trash and recycling carts by mid-July with comprehensive pickup by August. He said, however, that changing conditions surrounding the coronavirus may become a factor affecting manufacturing of equipment and carts
“Public Works will continue to monitor the situation and stay in contact with the vendors and will keep residents informed,” he said.
Information on the city’s upcoming automated waste collection system can be found at https://www.kenosha.org/departments/public-works/automated-waste-collection.
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