Starting June 29th, curbside trash in Bangor will be collected by automated trucks, and each Bangor household will be getting a new, compatible trash can.

The new 96-gallon cans will arrive at residences in June, according to a news release from city officials. In that release, officials say that you don't have to be home at the time they're dropped off, and that the containers will come with directions about where to put the new bins and how to use them.

As we reported last year, Bangor started participating in the zero-sort model of trash disposal in September 2019, adopting a plan where both refuse and recycling go into the same container and are sorted later at Coastal Resources facility in Hampden. This zero-sort process will continue. The only thing that will change now is that instead of the allotted limit of five 32-gallon trash bags per household, per week, the bigger bins will be used, along with automated trash trucks.

Overall, since the city released information about the new bins, opinions about the new way of doing things have been mixed. But as someone who lives in Bangor, I found the City's Website answered a lot of questions I had about the changes in their FAQ section. For instance:

"Can I still place broken-down cardboard next to the bin?
No. All trash and recycling, whether bagged up or not, must go inside the bin. There is not a worker outside the truck to collect anything that is not in the bin.

Will there still be a five-bag limit or weight limit?
The bag and weight limits of the past have been enforced for the safety of the workers picking up the bags. The automated side-load arm on the new trucks can lift heavier trash bins. As long as your trash and recycling fit inside the bin, you are good to go.

What do I do with my existing blue recycling bins?
Casella will also take these in June if clearly marked. You can also drop these off at Public Works at 530 Maine Avenue, or keep them if you have other uses for them.

Do the bins need to be placed curbside in a certain way for the automated system?
Yes, the front of the bin should face the street. The bins are clearly marked with placement directions, and we will be distributing detailed instructions with more info soon."

The city says the 96-gallon cans are significantly larger than most people think, and encourage those with concerns about how all their trash will fit into these new bins to visit Bangor Public Works at 530 Maine Avenue for an up-close and personal look at them. If you feel like you'll need more space than the allotted 96-gallons, there will be extra bins available to purchase in the fall. Conversely, if you feel like 96-gallons is way to big for the amount of trash your household creates on a weekly basis, you can request a smaller 32-gallon bin, as long as you contact Public Works about it by April 15th. You can request the new bin by calling 207-992-4500 or emailing Bangor Public Works at public.works@bangormaine.gov.