Brand-new, 96-gallon trash containers at each Ward residence could mark the end of chronic trash problems. Ward City Council members at the June 9 meeting learned of new service trash service options that will come with the sale of CNS Sanitation Services to WCA Waste Corporation.

Other business at the meeting included approval of a new pump unit for the Ward Volunteer Fire Department and award of a CenterPoint Energy Community Partnership Grant.

Mayor Art Brooke and aldermen Bill Moon, Jeff Shaver, Gary Matheny, Charles Gastineau and Don Howard attended the meeting. Alderman Lee Schoonover was absent.

Pete Dattoli, WCA regional sales director, spoke to the council members, outlining the services WCA will provide, as well as details of the service contract. Dattoli said the sale of CNS should be final by the middle of the month with WCA taking up collection service by June 30.

Residents should see no change in the pickup schedule, and a drastic change in the services, Dattoli said. Automated pickup of trash will be much more efficient.

WCA would provide each residence with a 96-gallon rollout container. Along with the residential containers will come trucks equipped with automated collection systems. Residents would place the containers at curbside; the trucks will empty the containers and then return them to within two feet of the location where they were placed.

The carts are easy to move and placing them at the street should not pose a problem for residents. The trucks can pick up to the front or side, eliminating the need to make multiple trips to collect both sides of a street, making them capable of handling much more waste in less time.

For residents, the covered carts will reduce wind-blown or animal-strewn trash and garbage.

Cost of the service is $10.50 per household with once a week pickup.

Recycling service is optional, but highly encouraged, Dattoli said. Recycling would reduce the volume of trash in the containers, and in the landfill, he said.

Brooke assigned the council members to a committee to review the contract.

In other matters, council members approved the purchase of a modular "drop-in" pump system to be installed in the fire department brush truck. The pump system will cost about $13,400 through Emergency Vehicle Services at Conway. The funds are available to pay for the system, Brooke said.

Brooke read a letter of thanks from the North Little Rock Police Department for support given by Ward police officer Ashley Se’man when a North Little Rock police car broke down in Ward on May 22. The car was providing escort for the Special Olympics Torch Run.

Pete Cragg, CenterPoint Energy area manager, presented Ward Volunteer Fire Department Chief Randy Staley a check for $1,500, an award through the CenterPoint Community Partnership Grant Program. The funds are for the purchase of defibrillators.

Cragg said the CenterPoint Energy grant program is to help cities purchase safety equipment, training or support safety-related projects. "We are proud to support the work of first responders and emergency personnel in our community."

Staley said the unit would cost about $13,400 from Emergency Vehicle Specialists of Conway.

The next Ward City Council meeting will be July 14.