Kansas City to start rolling out trash carts in 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Much like recycling carts last year, trash carts are on the way for Kansas City residents this year.

The Kansas City Council unanimously voted Thursday to spend $8.5 million to buy 170,000 trash carts for eligible residents.

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Currently, people living inside Kansas City limits put trash in bags and place them at the curb. Recycling used to go in a small, open bin next to the trash bags, but in 2023, the city rolled out recycling carts.

At the time, the city didn’t have the funding to simultaneously deploy trash carts as well. But budget adjustments made it possible this year.

Kansas City leaders said the new carts will help reduce litter since the carts have lids to keep animals out of bags and prevent trash and recycling from blowing across neighborhoods.

Like the recycling carts, the new trash carts will also be 65 gallons — allowing for several more bags of trash than the two-maximum residents are allowed currently and reducing illegal dumping.

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The trash carts will also be blue like their matching recycling carts, but they’ll have gray lids to tell them apart.

The city expects to start rolling out the 65-gallon trash carts in May and wrap up by October.

Kansas City households that have Friday trash pickup will be the first to have their trash carts delivered.

Nearly all single-family residences and apartment buildings with six units or fewer will receive a trash cart — free of charge. Residents who live at large apartment complexes won’t receive them because these developments don’t get the city’s trash service.

Residents in 12 neighborhoods also won’t be getting new carts. They were part of an older pilot program that tested trash carts with semi-automated pickup, and those residents still use them today.

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When Kansas City starts distributing new trash carts to residents, crews will initially stick to that semi-automated collection, which requires three employees per truck.

But the city plans to eventually phase in automated collection. Only one driver is needed, and a mechanical arm picks the carts up directly from the curb, ultimately reducing employee injuries.

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