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Councilors voice concerns amid Syracuse sanitation cart 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

Syracuse Common Councilors said they’re getting complaints, as the city begins its rollout of new sanitation carts.

Syracuse Chief Operating Officer Corey Driscoll Dunham said she has received some positive feedback about the rollout of the city’s new sanitation carts. Phase 1 included about 6,800 properties, and 99.5 percent of those neighbors were using the new carts correctly.

"To see that only half of one percent are actually getting fined, I think we show that there is something here that is working," said Driscoll Dunham.

But at Tuesday’s Public Works committee meeting, Councilor At-Large Rasheada Caldwell told Driscoll Dunham she’s hearing from people who are angry, and she thinks the city needs to be more flexible.

"I think you've got to give people time,” said Caldwell. “When you make changes without educating them, we didn't go to the schools, we didn't talk about it, it just happened, so people weren't prepared for it."

District Three Councilor Chol Majok said there are some larger families, including his own, who struggle to fit all of their trash into the new bins, and city officials should look into how they can help them.

"With those that we have learned that this trash bin is too small, I think we've got to figure out that it's got to be addressed case by case,” said Majok.

Driscoll Dunham said the city has worked to inform the public about the new carts a number of ways, including through mailings, presentations, and social media. However, she said she looks forward to working with the council to raise awareness before carts are distributed to the rest of the city.

The city decided to use the new semi-automated carts with lids to help prevent worker injuries and keep trash from flying out of cans into the streets. Driscoll Dunham said so far, the new carts are getting high marks from workers.

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.