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Clarification of Recent Amendment to Refuse Collection

Posted on Friday June 19, 2020

On June 16, 2020 the Wellington City Council passed Ordinance No. 4273, amending Section 38-550 of the City Code in regards to refuse collection in residential areas.  The focus of the amendment was to require that trash placed in containers that are larger than 45 gallons be in bags.  I believe early reporting of this information may have caused some misunderstanding.  It is important to note that neither the City Council nor City staff made recommendations that our customers purchase smaller containers.  The intent is quite the opposite.  Bagged trash will be picked up by sanitation crews and eliminate the need for customers to purchase smaller containers.  The City Code has provided for the 45 gallon container limit since 1996 or before, but the number of large containers ranging from 65 to 96 gallons that are made for automated services has increased significantly in recent years.  This has several negative impacts on the service, all of which increase the cost of the operation, most notably the increased risk of injury to workers.  These costs would have to be passed on to the customer by raising the monthly fee which is an increase we do not wish to implement.  One particular article, which has been updated, originally stated the containers “are too large for the trucks to handle.”  This was not correct.  Two of the four collection trucks are equipped with cart tippers and are quite capable of lifting the large carts.  Crews on the trucks without tippers have to physically lift the cart, sometimes over 100 pounds.  It would cost approximately $20,000 to retrofit the remaining two trucks.  This would be an unbudgeted expense and again have to be passed on to our customers.

It is understood that the City sold the box style 90+ gallon green carts a number of years ago and will continue to lift and empty them, if necessary, for that reason.  This was not adequately expressed in my memo or explanation to the City Council.

Beginning in July, staff will not be required to lift and empty containers larger than 45 gallons, other than those purchased from the City of Wellington, in order to remove loose trash.  We are not asking or requiring anyone to purchase a new container because of this amendment, simply place your trash in a trash bag if you have a large container.

The City Council agenda and link to the video of the June 16th meeting can be found on the City website,  The entire video can be viewed or fast forwarded to 19 minutes and 45 seconds for this specific topic.

Please contact Jeremy Jones at 620-326-7831 for more information.