New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


Keep Track of All Your Trash Bins


When the City first started its plastic bin program in 2007, the City was replacing them for residents at no charge. The City ran up a bill of about $40,000 to replace carts.

“Carts were being seen in Hartford and everywhere because no one really cared that much,” said Joyce Zukowski of public works. “People just called public works and we brought them a new container.”

The Mayor’s office then determined the City would have to start charging for bins. In August of 2016 there was a lot of push back from residents that rule then was approved by the Common Council.

“With the support of the administration it has helped a lot. When there is a cart that is missing it must now be paid for,” said Zukowski. “It is a $75 fee.”

The lids and wheels will be replaced for free one time. After that there is a $30 fee.

“The people who tend to have the hardest time are the new property owners,” Zukowski said. “They are moving into a house and they need to look for their container. It should be going with the house. If it is not there you need to negotiate something as part of the closing. Bins belong to the home and not the homeowners.”

All bins have numbers. Brown bins have numbers on the outside. Blue recycling bins have tags that can be scanned. The City knows where each one is assigned. People can call public works if they need to know their serial numbers.

“What happens sometimes is when homes are vacant for awhile, people help themselves to their bins,” according to Zukowski. “We’ve had times where people track down bins at their neighbors house. In those instances we can help, because it may be uncomfortable.”

In those cases public works will send a letter to your neighbor telling them the container does not belong to them and tell them where to return it.

The City Journal recently received a complaint of a City snow plow destroying a container.

“If they call, someone can take a look at it. The bins are not supposed to be on the street,” added Zukowski. “There may be different circumstances the City would help, but normally there are no exceptions.”

The public works department is responsible for refuse and recycling programs and initiatives; curbside collection programs for leaf bags, burnable & non-burnable bulky waste, and Christmas trees; pavement management program which includes the annual paving and sidewalk programs; capital project and right-of-way management and winter storm operations.

If you have a problem with a bin, call the public works department at 860-826-3350.