Part of the effort by the Fort Smith Department of Sanitation in gearing up to begin trash and recycling collection service in south Fort Smith is work of about 35 people — full-time and temp workers — to help deliver new carts.
The Fort Smith board of directors voted Nov. 3 to end a sanitation contract with Altes Sanitation and pull all the city’s residential collection under the Fort Smith Department of Sanitation. At the time, Altes was the only third-party trash service handling residential waste in Fort Smith, with the DOS handling 82%, or the other 20,820. accounts
DOS Director Baridi Nkokheli said the 35 temporary employees will begin work after the July 4 holiday to deliver carts to more than 4,900 households. He said up to eight rented moving trucks will be used in the process.
Residents switched from Altes to the DOS will receive two carts. One cart will be a 95-gallon trash cart, the other a 65-gallon recycling cart. The carts will be delivered with an attached packet of information about the new service. Days of service will change. Maps of the service areas with the day of service are provided at the end of this story.
“The carts have sturdy wheels and attached lids for customer convenience, to prevent loss of the lid, and to keep trash and recyclables from being scattered by wind,” noted a memo from Nkokheli to the city board. “The carts provide a convenient place to store trash and recyclables between collection days which is almost completely impervious to animal intrusion.”
Residents may request a 65-gallon trash cart by calling the DOS dispatch office (784-2350).
The DOS is also working with area media outlets to explain the new service, and will use the Connect CTY service — an automated telephone calling system — to reach residents in the affected areas. Also, the DOS has sent mailers detailing the service change to the households.
Nkokheli said no employees were added to handle the new service area. An automated truck — which uses a loading arm to pick up the carts, dump them and set them back in place — will be used and an older-model rear-loader truck outfitted with a “cart tipper” is available if needed, Nkokheli said.
The DOS, which operates as an enterprise fund and is not part of the city’s general budget, should see a revenue gain from the new service.
DOS Division Manager Joseph Hopper said in March that gross revenue should increase by about $380,000 for 2010. For 2011, the DOS should recognize a gross revenue from the additional service area of around $816,900. That revenue will help fund operations and a planned expansion of the Fort Smith landfill.
The DOS plans a $2 million, 12.5-acre expansion of the landfill in 2010. Fort Smith has one of the largest landfills in Arkansas and Oklahoma. The landfill, which benefited from receiving former Fort Chaffee property, has a lifespan of more than 65 years and encompasses 1,102 acres.