City of Manchester, NH Official Website

Automated Collection

Automated trash pic up truck and container

Beginning in Spring of 2017, the Department of Public Works will be pilot testing the use of automated collection technology to pick up trash placed curbside in designated areas of Manchester. 

image of trash cartsAutomated technology requires that all garbage be contained within an approved trash cart compatible with the truck's mechanical arm.  Within pilot areas, trash in other containers will NOT be collected.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is automated trash collection?
Automated trash collection is the removal of garbage placed curbside using a truck with a mechanical arm.  The truck is controlled by a single operator.

Why is the City considering automated collection?
The Department of Public Works (DPW) believes that automated collection will increase worker safety, improve neighborhood aesthetics, and achieve efficiency gains. See Why Automated Collection? for more details.

Am I in the pilot program area?
There is one pilot area on the west side, and one on the east side.  See our bird's eye view map.  Check back soon for an address-based lookup function to further assist you in determining if you live/work in one of the pilot areas.

When will the pilot program start and end?
The program is slated to begin in May and to continue for at least one year. 

Will there be outreach?
Yes.  The City will be in contact with property owners and tenants in the pilot areas in the months leading up to commencement of the program.  Outreach will include instructions on how to acquire trash carts compatible with the automated truck and the exact start date (as soon as it is established).

I have a green City of Manchester trash cart. Do I need to buy a new one?
No.  Any trash cart previously acquired through the City is compatible with an automated truck.  These green carts have wheels, handles, a lid, and -- except in very rare instances -- a City of Manchester seal on the side.

May I use a container other than a green City of Manchester trash cart?
In almost all cases, the answer is "no".  Any trash cart placed for collection MUST BE compatible with the automated truck.  If you want to use a non-City cart that you believe is compatible, you MUST contact the Highway Division no later than April 14 for assessment and approval.

How do I acquire an approved trash cart?
Property owners and tenants within the pilot areas will be contacted by mail and door hangers in mid-February with details on how to purchase approved trash carts at a 50% discount.  These discounted carts will not be available for purchase before then.

What size cart do I need?
This depends on a number of factors, including the size of your household and how much you recycle.  Typically, a 65 gallon cart will hold three to four standard trash bags; a 95 gallon cart will hold five to six standard trash bags.

What will be the cost of a City trash cart to pilot area customers? 
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen has established that the cost of carts purchased for use in the pilot areas will be borne 50% by the City and 50% by pilot area customers. The cost to the customer is: $35 for a 95 gallon cart; $28 for a 65 gallon cart.  The number of carts you may buy at the discounted rate is limited by the number you may place for collection.

How many trash carts may I place for collection?
Single-family residential – up to 2
Two-family residential – up to 4
Three-family residential – up to 6
Residential of four units or more - up to 8
Planned developments (including condos) and manufactured home parks –
      2 per unit; maximum of 8 per development/park
Commercial – 2 per business; maximum of 8 per property
Mixed-use – 2 per unit of any type; maximum of 8 per property
Non-profit organization – up to 8 per property

Property owners and tenants may request permission to place more carts than the above-mentioned limits by submitting a petition.

Will my pilot area trash cart purchase include delivery?
Yes, delivery by late April is included, provided that you order by the March 31 deadline.  Carts purchased after March 31 will need to be picked up from the Drop Off Facility.

May I choose to not participate in the pilot program?
You are not required to participate; however, be aware that municipal curbside collection services in the pilot areas will only be provided to those who place their trash in approved carts.  Your other options are to dispose of your trash for a fee at the Drop Off Facility, or to contract with a private hauler. 

Some in my ward are in a pilot area -- why am I not?
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen authorized the acquisition of a single automated truck for the pilot program; therefore, only one route per day (out of eight) can be collected using automated technology.

How do I properly place a cart for collection?
The following placement rules apply:

  • Carts must be situated with handle and wheels facing away from the street.
  • Cart lids must be fully closed.
  • Carts must be placed at the edge of the road, on the street side of the curb (if present); they must not block the sidewalk.
  • Carts must be placed in front of the property at which the trash was generated, unless an alternative placement has been agreed to by DPW.
  • Carts must be placed in a location that allows for access by collection equipment and crews:
    • at least two feet from other carts, trees, mailboxes, parked cars, and misc. objects;
    • not behind vehicles, other carts, or misc. objects;
    • not obstructed by snow banks.
  • Where availability of on-street parking is adversely affected, DPW may require that carts be placed in front of the owner’s driveway or along a nearby stretch of street where parking is prohibited.

What if I have more trash than fits in my cart?
You may dispose of overflow trash at the Drop Off Facility.  Fees apply.

What if I have an item that does not fit in my cart?
By ordinance, such items are considered "bulky" waste and must be disposed of according to established rules.

Are there penalties for non-compliance?
Yes.  Anyone who places materials in violation of City ordinances or departmental regulations is subject to a fine.

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