Cranston residents think new trash system is rubbish

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung jumped into the front seat of a garbage truck Tuesday morning to see why garbage men in his city no longer have to jump out of the trucks to collect trash.

The city moved to an automated system aimed at increasing recycling and saving some money.

"From a cost savings, it helped in this year's budget alone reduce our costs by $130,000," Fung said.

While it's saving the city money, it could cost people living in Cranston a lot more. Fung said there are extra costs for residents.

Each family was given one 65-gallon trash bin and one 65-gallon recycling bin. Any extra bins cost $150 apiece.

"I could use two or three of them, the way we go through trash. Obviously, we only get one and we have to pay another $150 a year if we want another one," Linda Harnois said.

A lot of people who spoke to NBC 10 don't like all the sorting involved in the new system. One bin is for trash only; one is for recycling only.

But there's another problem people are complaining about. Residents have to keep the bins away from trees and power lines so the truck has enough clearance to empty them.

"It takes practice, it takes discipline to do the right thing for the community," said Chris Collins of Waste Management.

Collins helped implement this system in four other Rhode Island communities. He said once people get used to the system, the complaining usually subsides. But until then a lot of people are missing trash pickups and thinking this whole concept is rubbish.