Harker Heights residents will see some big changes in their trash service soon.
Beginning March 1, the city will no longer pick up bags of trash left at the curb. Instead, they will be required to place all garbage in 96-gallon, wheeled carts, which will be provided to each customer. The carts will be emptied by new, automated trucks as part of a new four-year contract with Waste Management Inc.
Director of Public Works Mark Hyde said, “We’re excited about these five new automated side-loading trucks and the 96-gallon poly carts that will provide much better service and cleaner streets.”
All trash bags with solid waste — including brush and debris, household garbage, leaves, grass clippings and brush — must fit inside the poly cart with the lid closed. Additional trash outside the cart will not be collected.
According to City Manager David Mitchell, “Spray painting addresses on these carts is not allowed. Only the use of adhesive vinyl stickers will be acceptable.”
People with special needs who need assistance moving the cart from their residence to the curb can call 254-953-5649 and City Staff will forward that request to Waste Management Inc.
“We selected the 96-gallon size carts because of the extra amount of solid waste created during holidays and other times of the year,” Hyde said. “After a month, however, if some of our residents want the 64-gallon size cart instead, they can have one at the same cost by contacting the City of Harker Heights at 254-953-5649. Those requests will then be forwarded to Waste Management. Both size carts can be purchased for $5 a month per cart.”
Harker Heights Mayor Spencer Smith, in a letter that is being distributed to all residents, said, “Remember that the Recycling Drop Center is available free of charge for residents. Information about the Drop Center is available at https://harkerheights.gov/recycling-drop-center.
The Recycling Drop Center also accepts old trash cans.
Hyde said that when the service begins on March 1, residents can request that their old cans be taken away by attaching signage such as “Take Me Away” to the can. That will be sufficient to let workers know that the can is to be removed.
The old ones will be loaded onto a separate rear-load truck and taken away. Waste Management will dispose of any unwanted customer-owned containers in March.
Hyde, said, “Waste Management representatives tell us that the handle and wheels of the poly cart must face the curb. Technology is here to stay and directions must be followed.”
Assistant City Manager noted that solid waste collection will remain twice weekly for residential customers, and collection will continue on the same days of the week as now currently scheduled.
He also said that the residential solid waste fee will remain the same.
Billing inserts with information about the new service began earlier this week, city spokesman Jerry Bark said. The poly carts and an attached bi-fold information packet on each cart are scheduled to arrive at residents’ homes between Feb. 16 and 21.
Bark said, “Information about the new waste collection system will be available on the city’s main website and the public works garbage and recycling button on the site.”