Service to get garbage, recycling containers available to Jamestown residents

Residents can call utility billing in City Hall at 252-5900 to sign up for the walkup service.

garbage cans in alleys.jpg
Garbage and recycling containers sit in an alley Tuesday, Jan. 11, in northeast Jamestown. A walkup service is available where a city or Recycle North Dakota employee gets out of an automated truck, retrieves a container, brings it to the boulevard, empties it with the truck and takes the container back to its previous location.
John M. Steiner

With garbage and recycling collection suspended in all alleys, Jamestown residents can sign up for a service where a city employee will get their garbage and recycling containers and take them to the street so the bins can be emptied, according to Shawn O’Neill, sanitation foreman.

O’Neill said the walkup service is meant for people who have a more difficult time getting their garbage and recycling containers to the boulevards. He said the service is provided year-round.

When residents are signed up for the service, a city sanitation or Recycle North Dakota employee gets out of the automated truck used for garbage or recycling collection, gets the container, brings it to the boulevard so it can be emptied with the truck and takes the container to the location where it was retrieved. The containers must be placed in a visible area near the house or the garage with a clear path to the street.

Recycle North Dakota provides residential recycling collection for the city.

City Administrator Sarah Hellekson said in an email that the employee cannot enter a shed, garage, house or a fenced-in area to retrieve the containers. The garbage and recycling items must be in the cart so the automated trucks can empty the containers.


She said the service used to cost $20 per month but the Jamestown City Council reduced the fee to $10 per month.

“Staff was concerned that the people who might need it could not afford it,” she said.

The city of Jamestown suspended residential garbage and recycling collection in all alleys on Jan. 5 because of the conditions in the alleys. Residents now have to place their garbage and recycling containers on the boulevard no further than 3 feet from the curb on their scheduled pickup day.

O”Neill said some alleys are getting full of snow, which is getting deeper.

“Every time we go plow through them, they get narrower, narrower and narrower,” he said. “I have no way to blow the snow out or to make it (alleys) big enough.”

He said the automated trucks used for garbage collection are a lot bigger and more room is needed to go through the alleys. He also said the trucks sometimes get stuck.

“If we didn’t have hardly any snow, we wouldn’t have a problem,” he said. “As we get more snow, as winter gets started, our alleys are only going to get smaller. That is going to make it more difficult for our trucks to get in and out of the alleys.”

O’Neill said the department will continue to clear the alleys where its garbage-collecting routes are after snowstorm events.


“If they start getting really full, we will clean them out because people still need to get out of the garage and plus for the (Jamestown) Fire Department too,” he said.

Hellekson said the $10 fee includes walkup service for garbage and recycling containers. She said the fee will not be reduced if a resident only wants walkup service for garbage or recycling.

There are no requirements to prove a disability or age to sign up for the service.

Hellekson said drivers who have to get out of a vehicle have a higher injury rate. Before the automated trucks that only require one person, the city had one or two additional people walking behind a garbage truck to help empty the containers.

Residents can call utility billing in City Hall at 252-5900 to sign up for the walkup service.

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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