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Posted on: August 22, 2017

Recycling & Trash Collection Programs - Important Information

Status Update November 10, 2017: The Public Works Committee will discuss the changes to the Trash and Recycling Programs and provide their recommendation to the Village Board at a Public Meeting at 6:00 pm on Monday, November 13 in the Program Room at the Whitefish Bay Public Library. The meeting will discuss Trash Cart Size and Cart Regulations. The meeting agenda and packet can be found here: http://www.wfbvillage.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_11132017-493. 

Status Update September 12, 2017: The Village Board voted to authorize the implementation of a Village provided cart program to be placed near the curb or alley edge by the resident utilizing the automated collection process effective May 7, 2018 and directed village staff to develop an implementation plan that includes an exception process and to set the implementation date for the recycling program changes as May 7, 2018. Draft minutes from the public hearing on September 11, 2017 can be found by clicking here.

Recycling Collection Program Summary:

Status as of August 2017: The Village Board of Whitefish Bay recently took action to authorize the implementation of every other week collection of recyclables to begin in spring of 2018. The recycling cart is a 95-gallon, wheeled cart that was provided free of charge to every household in the Village.

Trash Collection Program Review:

The Village Board is in the process of reviewing the Trash Collection Program and has elected to move to an automated system.  Automated collection involves the use of a truck equipped with an automated arm, which allows the operator to empty trash carts and then return carts to their original position without leaving the cab of the vehicle (under normal circumstances).  

The Village Board held three Public Hearings to solicit feedback from residents about the potential change to an automated collection system.  The latest Public Hearing began at 7:00pm on Monday, September 11th in the Village Board Room (2nd Floor) at Whitefish Bay Village Hall.  

Quick Facts - Potential Automated Trash Collection Program

1. Each household would receive a free trash collection cart from the Village. This cart would be identical in size and shape to the recycling cart previously provided.

2. Weekly collection would take place on the same day that households currently receive pick-up. Households would be responsible for bringing the trash cart to the curb (within 10 feet) or to the alley edge.

Why the change to Trash Collection?

1. Cost Savings: The conversion to an automated trash collection system would reduce Village annual trash collection operation and maintenance costs by an estimated $105,585 per year.

2. Environmental/Aesthetic Benefits: The use of uniform, covered trash carts helps to prevent littering due to blowing of uncovered trash items.

3. Improved safety for Village employees:  Currently each Village trash collector lifts between 6,000 and 9,000 pounds of garbage and walks between 10 to 12 miles per day (in all weather conditions) pushing a collection cart up and down driveways, sidewalks and streets. As a result, Village collectors have sustained shoulder, arm, hand, back and knee injuries.

In addition, sharps disposed of in trash bags and cans without proper containers also pose a puncture risk as the Village trash collectors perform their duties. Chemical containers have also been found to be hidden in trash bags. These can break open when the collection truck hopper is compacted, resulting in Village trash collectors being exposed to the disbursement of chemicals and/or fumes.

The following videos show an automated-arm trash truck in action:

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3


The conversion to an automated trash collection system will occur in Spring of 2018 (to correspond with the already approved change to the Recycling Collection Program).

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