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Kansas City prepares for citywide trash services

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Posted at 6:03 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 19:03:46-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, will soon do away with contracted trash-collection services and assume those responsibilities citywide.

Discussions occurred at this time last year regarding the city taking over trash collection in the Northland and south Kansas City. One year later, delivery of the 30 new trash trucks the city purchased has begun, and the new service is set to begin May 1.

Michael Shaw, manager of KCMO Solid Waste Services said, the goal is to ensure that all collections are “on time and on task.”

Each truck that runs on compressed natural gas is equipped with a GPS tracker and an iPad.

'We hit a button, and it will verify that the service has been delivered,” Shaw said. “Likewise, if there's a violation for whatever reason that we don't collect it, we can actually take pictures.”

The change will help employees “a lot,” according to Daniel Harris, a solid waste services employee.

"They see where we're at and tell us what we missed, and what we didn't get,” Harris said.

Accountability is a priority after city leaders last year decided to stop using private contractors in the Northland and south Kansas City due to costs and delayed pick-up.

"We want to be accountable for the service that we provide,” Shaw said. “We want to provide an equitable service meaning services we can meet people where their needs are.”

Besides equipment, solid waste services will add more than 70 people to staff the new routes.

A majority of them were hired at a job fair last weekend.

"When we first get started, we'll find some service variations that some people are not accustomed to,” Shaw said. “But we can certainly work through those issues.”

When the city's new service begins, it is recommended that residents have their trash out by 7 a.m.

"The way that we collect the routes are going to be changed,” Shaw said. “So we might be at your house a little earlier than you're used to, or maybe a little later than we're used to.”

New employees will undergo orientation and training next month.

In April, drivers will conduct dry-run of the routes to work out the kinks before service begins in May.