The city of Spokane’s automated garbage program came through its test run with rave reviews.
Now it’s on its way to every neighborhood.
The City Council on Monday unanimously approved a proposal to expand the popular program throughout the city.
Solid Waste Director Dennis Hein got the council’s OK to spend $2.4 million this year on eight more automated trucks and 24,000 rolling trash carts. The money will come from reserves.
Last year, the city began to streamline trash collection - buying three specialized trucks that require only one worker to do a job that usually requires two.
A recent survey of 8,300 homes in 10 pilot neighborhoods showed overwhelming support for the program. Ninety-two percent of the more than 3,200 people responding favored expanding automated collection to the whole city.
“It was a fine experiment,” said Councilman Mike Brewer, who took part in the pilot program.
The new trucks won’t be here until later this year or early 1997. Hein hasn’t determined the number or location of new routes.
Automating the entire city will take about five years.
The special trucks have a mechanized arm that picks up the trash cart and dumps its contents into the compactor. They cost about $141,000 compared to $125,000 for a regular garbage truck. The carts have wheels and a hinged lid and cost an average of $52 each. Every household receives its first cart free.
Also Monday, the council unanimously approved Judy Hart’s proposal to build a grocery store in the East Central neighborhood.
Hart plans to build the 48,000-square-foot store between Third and Fourth avenues and Thor and Ray streets, and lease it to an as-yet-unnamed grocery chain.