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Not trash bins, but TRAC bins: Raleigh pilots new waste-collection system

Two large black cylinders sit in a parking spot along the side of the road. The cylinders are new TRAC bins, and they have a domed black top with a bright blue lid in it. A wood, fence-like structure goes around the parking spot, with the TRAC bins contained inside it. The side facing the sidewalk is not fenced off. The fence-like structure is a painted blue mural featuring blue plants, flowers, a dove, and the 3-arrow recycling symbol
Communications Department
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City of Raleigh
Raleigh's TRAC bins will go in converted parking spaces, not on sidewalks. They can hold more than the typical 95-gallon bins that line many Raleigh sidewalks, with each TRAC bin having an approximate 522-gallon capacity.

The city of Raleigh is piloting a new waste-collection system to keep city sidewalks clear and clean.

This first phase of the pilot program will launch this week, with two high-capacity above-ground containers placed on the 100 block of E. Martin Street. The containers are called TRAC bins, which stands for Trash, Recycling and Cardboard — though, these first bins will just be for mixed recyclables and flattened cardboard, according to a press release.

The goal is for the TRAC containers to replace the 95-gallon waste bins that typically line many sidewalks. The press release said that the typical bins impede sidewalk access, cause odors and aren't visually pleasing, which officials described as “the top issue identified in a 2018 downtown cleanliness survey.”

The new TRAC bins will go in converted parking spaces, not on sidewalks. And they can hold more than the typical bins — five and a half times more, with each TRAC bin having an approximate 522-gallon capacity. North Carolina artist Max Dowdle was commissioned to wrap the exterior of the bins in artwork.

The first phase of the pilot will run for 30 days with local businesses Beasley's and Fox Liquor Bar set to use the new collection system, starting Wednesday.

Sophie Mallinson is a daily news intern with WUNC for summer 2023. She is a recent graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism. Sophie is from Greenville, N.C., but she enjoys the new experiences of the Triangle area. During her time as a Tar Heel, Sophie was a reporter and producer for Carolina Connection, UNC-Chapel Hill’s radio program. She currently is heavily involved in science education at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.
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