OLDSMAR — New wheeled garbage bins are appearing at the curb in front of Oldsmar homes today, an important part of an automated trash pickup system that launches Monday.
Trash pickup days will remain the same, and there's no additional cost, said city spokeswoman Ann Stephan.
Until now, Oldsmar residents have used their own trash cans and plastic bags. From now on, they'll use wheeled carts that are being delivered to households. Deliveries began Thursday and will continue today and Saturday.
Oldsmar is joining several other Tampa Bay-area cities in modernizing curbside residential trash collection. Garbage trucks equipped with mechanical arms will lift city-issued roll-out receptacles off the street and dump the contents into the truck. The goal is to streamline waste collection.
If there's trash left by the curb that won't fit into the wheeled bin, a worker in the automated garbage truck will have another truck dispatched to that location so crews can pick it up manually.
This kind of system is becoming more popular. It's used in larger cities such as Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa.
The automated trucks mostly eliminate the need for sanitation workers to physically throw trash into the truck, thereby reducing back injuries and the number of workers' compensation claims, officials say.
Oldsmar is providing most households with a 65-gallon wheeled trash container. That's the medium size. Residents can order a larger 96-gallon bin by calling (813) 749-1136.
Four subdivisions are receiving smaller 35-gallon containers — Emerald Bay, Sunketch Homes, Gull Aire Village and Seaside Estates.
Mike Brassfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4151. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.