The Town of Rocky Mount held a press conference on Oct. 12 to make the public aware that it will begin using a new side-loader truck for solid waste collection in January. The event was an opportunity for the town residents to view the truck, test the new waste carts and ask questions of town officials.
“We wanted to give the community the opportunity to come out and see the trucks and the carts. They can roll the carts around if they want to,” Mark Moore, the assistant town manager and community development director, said in regard to the purpose of the event.
Often times referred to as the “one-armed bandit,” the truck uses a claw to pick up solid waste carts and empty them. Only a driver is needed to operate the vehicle.
“This was a way to be more efficient about our solid waste,” Moore said about the truck. “Having workers hold onto the back of the trash truck going down the side of the road creates a safety concern.”
The truck and carts, Moore said, cost around $500,000. American Rescue Plan Act funding was used for the purchase.
The new service will be used by approximately 1,800 locations. Information about the new truck and carts has been communicated to residents via their utility bills.
The use of the new truck means that all households will be provided with a town-owned solid waste cart to hold bagged solid waste for collection. Residents will have to decide whether they want a 65-gallon cart, which can hold up to six 13-gallon trash bags, or a 95-gallon cart, which can hold up to 12 13-gallon trash bags, for their property by Nov. 1 to ensure that carts are delivered by late December. Residents can expect carts to be delivered to their properties by Dec. 31. If residents do not decide which cart they want by Nov. 1, they will be issued a 95-gallon cart.
Commercial carts, on the other hand, only come in the 95-gallon size.
Special 65-gallon residential carts will also be available for households in which no one is able to move the cart to the curb. These carts will require an application and a physician’s signature.
Discussions about how to properly position carts also took place. Carts, according to the informational webpage that was set up to educate residents about the new truck and carts, should be placed on a relatively level area in front of a resident’s property, adjacent to but not on the roadway. Additionally, the cart should be no more than eight feet from the edge of the road’s pavement.
The carts should be positioned so that the lid opening is facing the road. If a resident has more than one cart, they should be spaced at least two feet apart from each other. Residents without sidewalks should place their carts in grassy areas at the edge of their driveways but away from mailboxes. Residents who have sidewalks in front of their properties with no grass median should place their carts with the front facing the street and the wheels tight against the curb. Residents with grass medians should place their carts with the front facing the street and the cart positioned in the grass close to the edge of the curb and at least four feet from other trees or obstructions.
Carts can be requested online: solidwaste.rockymountva.org.
Residents were told to position their carts for collection at the curb by 7 a.m. on the scheduled collection day. The carts will need to be removed from the curb by 10 p.m. the day of collection.
Areas east of Main Street and north of the railroad tracks on North Main Street will be scheduled for Tuesday collections.
Areas west of Main Street will be scheduled for Wednesday collections.
Areas of Franklin Heights, the center of the town around Franklin County High School, Donald Street and 40 East and all walk up/special pickups will be scheduled for Thursday collections.