Graichen seeks to automate pickup
By Scott Bellile
New trash bins delivered to New London households before the new year will aid Graichen Sanitation in automating its pickup process.
“We’re just trying to get to the wave of the future with the automaton,” said Lynn Graichen, owner of the New London-based trash collection service Graichen Sanitation. “The city went that way with the recycling tote carts, so we thought it was good timing.”
The 96-gallon wheeled carts mimic the 96-gallon recycling carts that the city of New London required property owners to purchase this past fall through Outagamie County Recycling and Solid Waste.
Unlike the recycling bins, however, the trash bins are free for all Graichen Sanitation customers. The carts are registered to the address they’re delivered to, so they must remain at the home if the occupant moves.
Graichen said his business has been looking to distribute carts in town for years, and has done so in Waupaca, Clintonville, Dale and Caledonia. His goal is to distribute carts to customers in all nearby towns in the coming years.
Graichen Sanitation’s goals with the automation are to reduce labor costs, protect route drivers on the road, and keep the neighborhoods clean of blowing or spilled trash.
The company is automating its pickup process by purchasing two new trucks fitted with lifting mechanisms that attach to the carts.
Casey Wheeler, a trash collector who was out working on Monday, said the trucks’ side loaders make the job easier and faster, plus allow workers to pick up more trash in one day.
On the customer’s end, the company states the wheeled carts “are designed to easily roll to the street or road.” The 96-gallon storage capacity means customers won’t face the burden of hauling multiple containers or trash bags to the curb on garbage day.
In fact, customers are now forbidden to do so – Graichen Sanitation will only collect what’s in the cart. Overflow must be saved for next week or collected specially.
Graichen acknowledged his small, family-run business might cut one trash collector job due to the automation. For now, he’s finding other projects to keep that worker employed.
“We have loyalty to the city of New London, we make our living here, we live here,” Graichen said. “We’re trying to be as fair as we can.”
If customers don’t like their 96-gallon carts, Graichen said he’ll allow trade-ins for 65-gallon carts. He told customers to try the assigned carts for three to six months, then trade them in if they’re still not satisfied.
“Overall I think it will be received pretty well,” Graichen said of the new process. “It will work out fine.”
For Graichen Sanitation to pick up people’s carts, they need to be at the curb by 6 a.m. on the assigned collection date. The lid opening must face the street. Allow four feet of space between the cart and any nearby object so the side loader can grab the cart.
Carts improperly placed on snow banks or in the street will not be collected.