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Syracuse proceeding with new sanitation cart rollout, community broadband pilot program

syracuse city hall feb2023.jpg
Ava Pukatch

The Syracuse Common Council passed legislation at Monday's meeting proceeding with a phased rollout of new sanitation carts and pilot of a community broadband program.

The phased sanitation cart program is set to launch this summer with 6,800 properties before eventually expanding citywide.

Commissioner of Public Works Jeremy Robinson asked the council to consider amending the sanitation ordinance. As written, the legislation requires one cart per unit so a ten-apartment unit building would get 10 carts.

But those apartments might not need all 10 and the carts will take up space — especially when recycling carts are added. Robinson proposed scaling back for 10-unit apartments during the initial rollout.

Syracuse will be updating sanitation cart for people who live in the city
Jessica Cain
Syracuse will be updating sanitation cart for people who live in the city

"Ten carts logistically in the right away is a big concern for us," Robinson said. "But we don't want to lose sight of the positive. The positive is that the trash cart program is moving forward and whether it's ten carts or whether it's two carts, it's moving forward."

Councilor Pat Hogan said the council's concern is making sure the level of service stays the same for residents.

" I think it probably is an operational issue guaranteeing 10 containers for the 10-unit buildings," Hogan said. "If [residents] don't need it, just take a few away, but provide them with what they've always been provided with."

Councilor Amir Gethers expressed similar sentiments.

"We're going through phases right now," Gethers said. "We're going to test and determine. We'll go big and see how this works out and if we have to redact the carts, which I know we will — I feel like we might need to do that. But we have to do our research first and go through with our phases to be able to determine that."

"To address that concern, you know, if people want 10, if they need 10, they'll have 10," Gethers continued. "If not, we'll take them back."

The council passed the sanitation legislation without amendment with council planning to check in with public works once operations are underway for what may need to be fixed.

Additionally, the council passed a community broadband pilot program which could provide free internet service to members of the community. Councilor Jimmy Monto said the broadband program is a great opportunity to make sure everyone in the city can have high-speed internet access.

"We need to make sure that our underserved populations have access to the internet," Monto said. "It controls everything from getting a bus on time, getting the bus schedule to securing your home."

A next step in the broadband program is engaging with the community to have people learn about and sign up for the program.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.
Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.