Toledoan Rose Wilson looks at trash containers at Toledo Food Center. The receptacles will be used to automate collection.
Maurine Reynolds, like all Toledo homeowners, has a decision to make by Monday.
That's the deadline to select the size of the two new refuse containers that will be delivered this year so the city can switch over to automated trash pickup.
Ms. Reynolds, of Eton Road in West Toledo, went to see the containers at The Andersons on Talmadge Road. She was not impressed.
"I think they are huge and ugly, and they are awkward," Ms. Reynolds, 67, said. "I tried to move the smallest and even that was difficult, and it was empty. I honestly don't know how you can handle them filled."
The containers come in three sizes: 96 gallons, 64 gallons, and 48 gallons. Toledo City Council on April 14 agreed to spend $9.67 million to buy two containers for every city household to begin automating its trash collection.
One will be for trash and the other is for recycling.
The city will send the largest container if people do not opt for a smaller one.
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said the switch to automated pickup - which will use a single driver rather than a three-person crew - will save Toledo millions of dollars every year.
Bill Franklin, public service director, said using automated trucks would "conservatively save the city $3 million a year" even with financing the purchase of the containers over 10 years.
Mr. Franklin said the new receptacles could be delivered in August if the city hires a private trash hauler to begin collecting the city's garbage and recyclables, but delivery will be later in the year if the city continues to use its own garbage collectors.
Allied Waste Services was the only company to respond to the city's request for a proposal.
It will cost Toledo another $12.2 million to buy 40 new automated refuse trucks and continue with city workers collecting trash and recyclables.
Toledoans can view the new containers and fill out a form requesting one of the smaller receptacles at five locations:
•Wal-Mart, 2925 Glendale Ave.
•The Andersons, 4701 Talmadge Rd.
•Sunoco, 4810 Suder Ave.
•Toledo Food Center, 303 Main St.
•Save-A-Lot, 3030 Monroe St.
Residents can also select their trash container on the city's Web site, www.toledo.oh.gov.
Marvin Dabish, manager of Toledo Food Center in East Toledo, said all of his customers have been examining the new containers.
"They are asking if they are going to charge them for them and a lot of people say they don't like the trash fee," Mr. Dabish said.
Last year, the city cut the number of trash routes, started a 7,500-house pilot program to test automated pickup, and set up a new collections schedule that took effect Jan. 2.
Contact Ignazio Messina at: