Roll-out carts replacing bins

Published 4:14 pm Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Contributing Editor

Goodbye bins, hello roll-out carts.
Sometime in early 2011, Washington’s recycling program will switch from bins to roll-out carts. During the City Council’s meeting Monday, the council gave final approval to buy 4,000 roll-out carts (95-gallon capacity) to be used for recycling.
The carts would cost $191,920, according to a memorandum Allen Lewis, the city’s public-works director, sent the council and mayor.
Funding for the carts was included in the last fiscal year’s budget. That funding included $100,000 in city money and a $100,000 grant from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Because the purchase order for the roll-out carts exceeds $20,000, the council, under a new policy, had to approve the expenditure.
Councilman Doug Mercer questioned the need to buy 95-gallon roll-out carts, noting the original intent was to purchase 65-gallon roll-out carts. Other council members wondered if recyclers would fill up a 95-gallon roll-out cart in a week’s time.
Lewis explained that a 95-gallon roll-out cart costs about $1 more than a 65-gallon roll-out cart.
“Staff wishes to purchase the 95-gallon version because it standardizes all of the roll-out carts we have in our system,” Lewis write in the memorandum.
The council also expressed concerns that people may confuse the roll-out carts for recycling with roll-out carts for garbage, possibly mixing garbage with recyclable items.
Lewis said if that happens, city crews will not empty any roll-out carts with a mixture of garbage and recyclable items into its garbage truck. Lewis said his department will find ways to inform city residents and businesses about the switch to the roll-out carts and the need not to mix garbage and recyclable items.
Lewis told the council that the roll-out carts for recycling will be blue. Roll-out carts used for garbage are green. The roll-out carts for recycling likely would be distributed sometime in January of February of next year, Lewis said.
In other business, the council asked Gary Ceres to work with city staff concerning his proposal to open an “alley market” in Ayers Lane every Friday from September through December. Ceres is an owner of I Can’t Believe It’s a Book Store, which abuts Ayers Lane, an alley between the bookstore and the former McLellan’s building in downtown Washington. Vendors for the alley market would be selected by the bookstore owners.
Mayor Archie Jennings expressed concerns that granting Ceres his wish would result in the city allowing a business to use the alley to make money. Ceres said he plans to charge a vendor $8 for a space at the “alley market.” If the city makes the alley available to Ceres for the “alley market,” others may want the alley made available to them, Jennings said.
The mayor then suggested Ceres work with city staff, with the goal of finding a way to allow the market.
“We’ll try to shepherd you through the process,” Jennings said.
During his presentation to the council, Ceres said the “alley market” is a way for people to supplement their incomes by becoming vendors at the market.
“I got the idea, basically, by visiting Charleston,” Ceres said.
Ceres said the market would not become a flea market.
In his written request to the city, Ceres noted the market would be open Friday mornings and afternoons. One hand-written note on the request indicates the market — a general craft/farmers market activity — would be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays. A document accompanying the request included in the City Council’s agenda packet for Monday’s meeting refers to the market as Ayers Alley Exchange.
“I Can’t Believe It’s a Book Store will assume responsibility for ensuring that vendors set-up and clean-up their spaces properly, maintain the alley, etc.,” Ceres wrote in his request.
The accompanying document indicates that those vendors required to have licenses, permits and/or insurance to operate will be required to prove they meet those requirements before being allowed to be a part of the market.
Under the market proposal, the sale of weapons and ammunition would be prohibited, as would the sale of dogs and cats, counterfeit merchandise and tobacco products, among other items.