Cedar Rapids goes to the dogs for trash can help - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids goes to the dogs for trash can help

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - When Cedar Rapids' automated garbage trucks are picking up trash, they often run into the same problem: carts placed too close to one another. That causes extra work and wasted time.

"The driver gets out, moves the carts apart, gets back in the truck, lifts the cart to empty it, puts it back down, and then can move on to the next stop," said Megan Murphy, Utilities Communication Coordinator.

There needs to be three feet of space around the cart for the truck to work properly. The city's tried to get the message out before but it just hasn't stuck.

Enter "Lucy." That's the dog the city's using to help. Officials have decided to show people the proper placement by using a basset hound.

"Who can ignore a basset hound," asked Murphy. "We had a basset hound growing up and it's still the cutest dog ever," she said.

The city is planning to make a video using an animated basset hound they'll be calling "Lucy." The dog will stand between the carts. A full grown basset hound is about three feet long -- just the amount of space you need between the bins. 

Officials also say the carts need to be placed far enough away from mailboxes or other obstacles in the yard in order for the trucks to work.

So next time you take out the trash, they hope you'll throw the garbage collector a bone and move the carts apart.

The City of Cedar Rapids is also working on a video that will explain how the five-in-one dam works. They hope to have both finished next month. They expect the total cost for the videos to be around five thousand dollars
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