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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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City May Buy Less Wasteful Garbage Trucks Automation Would Make It Possible For One-Person Crews To Pick Up Trash

Look, Spokane. No hands.

New automated garbage trucks may be making the rounds soon on a few routes in the city, making it possible for one-person crews to pick up trash.

In most cases, the driver won’t have to get out of the truck.

The City Council tonight will consider a contract to buy 10,000 specially designed refuse carts that make the automated collection possible.

The new carts, which come in four sizes, would cost taxpayers $465,217, averaging $42.99 per cart plus set-up and delivery charges.

“This is a long-term investment,” said Solid Waste Director Dennis Hein.

Two, one-person routes can do the same amount of work as three, two-person routes, Hein said.

In about two months, Hein plans to use the new system for 10 collection routes - five on the South Side, five on the North Side.

If all goes well, within five years the whole city could be automated.

The trucks are able to pick up the carts and dump the trash.

In narrow alleys, it may be necessary for the driver to move the cart to the back of the truck - but the truck still does the dumping.

In other business tonight, the council will:

Consider an agreement between the city’s Solid Waste Department and the Spokane County Jail to allow non-violent offenders to do various jobs, such as sorting batteries, weeding and picking up litter.

The contract would cost the city $27,000 in supervision and transportation costs.

“The offenders don’t get a salary,” said Roger Flint of the Solid Waste Department.

Consider raising various fees the fire department charges for permits and inspections.

The increases, part of the recently approved 1995 budget, would add about $91,000 to city coffers.

A permit for an underground storage tank would go from $30 to $60.

Tonight’s briefing starts at 5:30 in the fifthfloor conference room of City Hall, W808 Spokane Falls Blvd.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in council chambers.

xxxx Meeting The City Council meeting begins at 6 p.m. in council chambers.

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