Automated Trash Frequently Asked Questions

Wheeled Trash Cart Collection Program Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Automated Collection?

Automated collection is a thoroughly proven method of residential solid waste collection used by many communities as a cost-effective option to manual collection. Each home is provided with a wheeled cart, which is easy to roll and place curbside on the designated collection day. The garbage trucks, equipped with a lifting device on the curbside, will lift, empty and return the carts to the same spot. The operator never has to leave the truck cab, but controls the entire loading operation from his cab of the vehicle.


Why is the City changing to Automated Collection?

Automated collection will increase efficiency of trash collection while improving safety. Worker injuries are reduced thereby benefitting employee quality of life and reducing workman compensation claims and insurance costs. Overall operating costs are reduced. Automation provides stable annual costs for collection while improving service. It has been shown to improve recycling efforts and reduce amount of trash processed, and therefore, lower costs for disposal.


City provides the cart, so no more trash cans to buy. The carts are maneuverable and easy to roll. Carts feature large wheels and do not need to be picked up and carried. Snug fitting lids are attached to the cart so they won’t blow off or get lost. Litter, odors, animal and fly problems are greatly reduced improving the quality of life and aesthetics of the neighborhood. Carts also make the City streets safer and more sanitary for kids when walking to school or waiting for the bus.


Is the wheeled cart for trash or recycling?

The wheeled cart you will receive is for the use of TRASH ONLY. Recycling collection and methodology will be the same. Do not use your trash cart for recycling as it will NOT be collected.


How many carts and what size carts will I get?

Single-family homes are eligible to have their trash picked up through the City’s program. Residences listed as a single family household will receive one 95-gallon wheeled cart for trash.  An additional cart will be available for double the cost.


Where will I store these wheeled carts?

The 95-gallon wheeled cart for trash takes up less space than the two typical 32-gallon trash barrels currently being used by residents.


Is my trash and recycle day changing?

No. Collection schedules will not be changed unless otherwise noted. Please make sure to always have your trash and recyclables out at 6:00 am on your day of collection.


Where should I put my cart on my trash Collection Day?

Carts must be placed at least four feet from obstacles such as utility poles, mailboxes, trees and parked cars. Carts should be as close to the curb as possible but no further than 3 feet away from the curb edge. Make sure the container’s handle is toward your home and the arrows on the top of the lid are facing the street. When your cart is delivered, it will be placed in the most ideal location for service. Please do your best to place trash carts in the best location possible for collection by the automated trucks, and avoid placing near obstacles such a fire hydrants, trees, parked cars, etc.


Why do the arrows on the trash cart need to be pointing towards the street on your collection day?

To allow proper collection, the mechanical arm fits the carts molded body when faced towards the street. The automated collection truck can’t turn the container around as it picks up. Dumping the container “backwards” or “sideways” can break or damage the cart and or other equipment on the vehicle.  Containers must be placed with arrows facing towards the street for proper collection.




Why do I need to provide space between my garbage cart, recycling bags and other items out for collection?

The collection arm on the automated truck requires space to make the collection safely so that it will not tip over other containers, damage your property or any other obstructions placed in the vicinity of the cart. Please keep the containers away from mailboxes, fire hydrants, telephone poles and other obstacles that may interfere with the collection.

What happens when parked cars block access to the wheeled carts?

Occasionally this will be an issue, just like it currently is and we expect that this may happen from time to time. The first couple months of the program will be an adjustment period. As in other communities that have implemented automated collection programs, the City will attempt to contact the resident in order to resolve such instances.


What can I put in the cart for trash collection?

Only bagged household trash can be put in your container. Please do not put loose garbage into your cart. Do not place recyclable materials, construction/demolition material, yard waste, hazardous materials or any similar materials in your cart.  These items must be privately disposed.


What if my cart gets damaged or stolen?

The carts are the property of the City of Kewanee and each one is assigned an address and a serial number. If the collection truck causes the damage or a result of normal wear, the City will replace the cart at no charge to you. Damage resulting from negligence or abuse by the resident will be the responsibility of the resident. All reports of damage or theft will be investigated and should be reported. Upon verification by the Department of Public Works and/or Police Department, stolen carts will be replaced at no charge to the resident.


If I move, do I take the cart with me?

No, the cart is the property of the City of Kewanee and is assigned to each utility account by means of a unique serial number. If you move, please leave the cart at your home.


Why weren't the bags/boxes I placed on top of the cart collected?

No waste is to be placed on top of the automated container as it will fall off the container and cause collection issues and trash to be strewn.


Will my cart be emptied if it is placed in the wrong spot?

During the first few weeks of the new program, your cart will be emptied even if it is placed in the wrong spot. If you find your cart in a different location at the end of the collection day, please note where it is located and set out the cart at this location in the future.


Can I use another container besides the City issued cart for trash?

No.  Only the carts issued by the city can be used for curbside municipal collection. Trash left outside the carts will not be collected.  All trash must be inside the cart with the lid closed.


What size is the 95 gallon cart?

Standard 95 gallon cart: Width – 29”, Depth – 33”, Height 43.5” (Lid to ground), Height – 40” (cart opening), Wheel Diameter – 10”


Do I need to bag my trash?

Yes. All trash should be bagged as best as possible before it is put in the wheeled cart. Bagging helps keep the cart clean and reduces windblown litter. Note: you may use your traditional white/black bags to place any trash inside the cart.