Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Modernizing Garbage Pickup

(Source: Pixabay)

Birmingham will spend just over $6.5 million to give each household in Birmingham a new, 96-gallon garbage receptacle that Mayor Randall Woodfin said will modernize the way the city picks up garbage.

The 100,000 standardized containers will be manufactured by the North Carolina-based company Toter LLC and will include GPS tracking technology to make sure they remain at their assigned households.

Woodfin said that the purchase will help mitigate some costs incurred by the city’s “outdated” and “overly kind” garbage pick-up program, which has flagged in recent months due to staff shortages.

“We don’t necessarily have teeth in (our current garbage) ordinance, so anything that’s out there, we pick up,” Woodfin said. “So our citizens can put anything out there (which means) trash is always on our streets … . People who do illegal dumping or littering can blend in.”

The standardized bins, he said, will be “a very necessary step in keeping our city clean and being more efficient in how we pick up garbage.”

The bins will be distributed to Birmingham households incrementally, with the first 25,000 ready to deploy “in six to eight weeks,” Woodfin said. Households that need more than one bin will have to pay for another, he added, though the city believes the container size “should work for all households.”

The bins will be compatible with the city’s new mechanized garbage trucks, which are expected to be deployed before the year’s end. Some of the city’s current fleet of garbage trucks also will be retrofitted to pick up the cans.

Woodfin dismissed “crazy talk” that the city’s garbage services will be privatized, although that was an option his administration publicly considered in 2020. “We’re not privatizing garbage,” he said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “Get that out of your head. It’s a lie … . Our employees will remain our employees.”