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(August 23, 2016)

The City of Omaha and Waste Management will begin a pilot program this fall to evaluate an automated collection system for solid waste and recyclables.

“The pilot is the next step in a series of actions to prepare for an overhaul of our current system,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “I support a modern collection system, using covered, wheeled carts and CNG fueled trucks equipped with automated arms. We asked Waste Management to develop this pilot to give us firsthand feedback from the citizens selected to participate.”    

In June, Mayor Stothert invited public opinion about current and future service and received approximately 500 responses through the Mayor’s Hotline.

The Mayor also recommended and the Omaha City Council approved a study by SCS Engineers to analyze the yard waste collection and the OmaGro program.  This month, the contract with SCS was expanded to include surveys to identify the services citizens prefer.

All feedback will be considered as the city prepares a new RFP for solid waste and recyclable collections. 

The six-month pilot project is scheduled to begin November 7. Approximately 2,500 homes will be selected to participate in currently scheduled residential routes, including those with narrow streets, large trees that overhang streets and special collection stops (for elderly and disabled homeowners). 

Those locations are:

Monday - 96th to 108th; Harrison to Jefferson
Tuesday - 114th to 120th; Arbor to Pacific
Wednesday - 90th to 98th; Pacific to W. Dodge
Thursday - 78th to 88th; Maple to Boyd
Friday - 102nd to 106th; Nebraska to Mary

During the week of October 31, Waste Management will deliver two (2) 96-gallon carts to each participating home, one for trash and yard waste, the other for recyclables.

Trash and yard waste will be collected weekly.  Recyclables will be collected every other week.   Waste Management will provide monthly reports to the city.

“Waste Management is excited to partner with the City of Omaha on the pilot demonstration as an example of a modernized solid waste collection program,” said Carl Niemann, Director of Municipal Services. “Waste Management is utilizing trucks and carts that have proven successful in other communities, allowing the city’s residents and leaders to evaluate the benefits of wheeled carts with state of the art automated collection vehicles.”

The city’s current contract with Waste Management expires in 2020.  The company has indicated it would consider terminating the current agreement and bid on a new contract.  The new RFP is likely to be ready by mid to late 2017.