The City of Aiken Public Services department will be replacing trash cans with stronger, more "accurate" ones later this month.

The city plans to begin the replacement process Feb. 17 as many of the city's cans are decades old and have an arrow symbol facing a contradictory direction than what public services require for the city's new side-loading automated trucks.

The cans also are made from flimsier materials that are not suitable for the new side-loading trucks.

"The older cans are not as structurally sound when the arm is coming to pick them up," said Public Services Director Lex Kirkland. "Over time, this will warp them and make them harder to close."

Cart Replacement Instructions

The transition from the rear-loading trucks to the side-loading vehicles began in November with three trucks, priced at $295,000 each, which were previously approved by City Council as part of the 2019-2020 budget.

The rules for trash pick-up will remain the same.

Cans should be placed with the lid facing the street, which allows for easier, cleaner pick-up.

Cans should be placed at the road with at least 3 feet of clearance from one another with the handle facing away from the street.

Residents should place their can curbside by 7 a.m. on pick-up day. 

This replacement only affects trash cans, not recycling, Kirkland said. 

Public Services are in the process of replacing the recycling cans but do not have the proper trucks for the pick-up right now.

On the start date, new solid waste roll carts will begin to be delivered throughout much of the City of Aiken who do not already have the roll carts designed to work best with the automated side loading trucks.

After receiving the new roll cart, residents should continue using the old roll cart until your next scheduled garbage pickup day. Public services will pick up the old cans, but it may take up to several days for the new ones to be put in place.

Trash pick-up will be "business as usual" until they have a new cart at their homes, Kirkland said. 

The total time it will take Public Services to replace the cans can be three weeks to a month. 

The company responsible for bringing in the cans will be working up to six days a week, Monday through Saturday, in order to deliver the new cans as quickly as possible, Kirkland said. 

"During each street's scheduled pick-up day, we want people to just put their old can out," Kirkland said. "That can will disappear, but there may be a period of time where people may have multiple cans for a few days. We don't want people using the new cans until their old one is picked up."

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect new solid waste roll carts will begin to be delivered Feb. 17 to City of Aiken customers who do not already have the roll carts designed to work best with the automated side loading trucks. After receiving the new roll cart, residents should continue using the old roll cart until your next scheduled garbage pickup day. Public services will pick up the old cans, but it may take up to several days for the new ones to be put in place.