New TRAC bin

Dump the Cart!

New TRAC bin pilot

New Above-Ground Waste Collection Pilot Comes to Downtown Raleigh 

The City of Raleigh is ready to spring forward with the launch of a pilot above-ground waste collection system. 

 On April 17, the City of Raleigh is piloting two new, high-capacity containers to collect mixed recyclables and flattened cardboard.  The new TRAC bins (Trash, Recycling, and Cardboard) will be housed in parklets (corrals) – converted parking spaces - rather than on sidewalks.  The first phase of the pilot will be located in the 100 block of E. Martin Street between Wilmington and Blount Street. 

With the lack of alleyways in downtown Raleigh that would otherwise provide space for delivery services and solid waste collections, many of our sidewalks are currently lined with 95-gallon rolling solid waste carts that impact sidewalk access, have an offensive odor, and are unsightly.  It was the #1 issue identified in a 2018 downtown cleanliness survey.  

Each TRAC bin has a 522.5-gallon capacity, providing the equivalent of 5 1/2 solid waste carts.  There will be two TRACs utilized in the first phase of the pilot – one for loose recyclables and one for flattened cardboard. Each week, Solid Waste will evaluate the tonnage collected to assist in evaluating the pilot.  The TRACs will be secured to reduce recycling contamination and enhance the safety and cleanliness of downtown Raleigh. 

Phase one of the pilot will operate for 30 days beginning with Ashley Christensen businesses, Beasley's and Fox Liquor Bar using the new collection system.  "Our restaurants are honored to participate in this exciting pilot program," said Ashley Christensen, owner of AC Restaurants.  "I am confident that this initiative will result in a more visually pleasing and collaborative collection solution for downtown businesses.  This project stands to greatly improve the collection process as a whole, resulting in a cleaner and healthier city to live, work, and play."

TRAC Bin Servicing
Solid Waste Services crews currently collect garbage and recycling carts in the Central Business District up to seven days a week.  Participating businesses can expect to receive the same level of service.  TRAC collection days will be comparable based on current cart capacity.  Service will require the use of a knuckle boom truck instead of a split body – which is the current truck type that services the Central Business District.  Solid Waste Services staff members went through training to prepare for this collection style and are eager to begin servicing on April 17. 

Communication and Outreach
The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has done extensive outreach, education, and communication with the business community regarding the pilot TRAC project.  All locations within a one-block radius were notified of the pilot and invited to participate in an information session that was held at The Green Monkey located in the 200 block of Wilmington Street on Tuesday, March 12, 2024.  This information session was attended by several members of the business community. A virtual information session was held on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.  During this session, a broader cross-section of the downtown area was invited to attend.  The information was also placed on the City’s website and made available for anyone to join and was also shared publicly via multiple channels on social media.  Both residents and business owners attended this information session.  It provided an opportunity for the DRA, members of city staff, the business community, and residents to discuss the pilot project and answer questions about the future of collection services for downtown Raleigh.   

To ensure that the participating businesses are prepared for the pilot, City staff held an on-site educational session with members of the management team from Beasley’s and Fox Liquor.  They were provided with a timeline for the pilot, contact information for operational staff members, and educational posters for recycling.  Notification to businesses in the pilot vicinity included email, in-person, and postcard communication and, DRA staff met with owner representatives of the adjacent property where the pilot will be deployed, and they are supportive of this location.

It's A Wrap!
A partnership between Raleigh Arts, Transportation, and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance created an opportunity to wrap the parklet exterior in artwork commissioned by local artist Max Dowdle. The artwork will be installed prior to the deployment of the TRAC bins.

Solid Waste Services, Transportation, Special Events, and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance have worked in collaboration for several months to bring forward this pilot project.  Every effort has been made to support and engage with the businesses impacted by the pilot.  Staff will move forward with intention, gather data, and evaluate the effectiveness of this solution before making a recommendation for phase two of the pilot which may include an expansion to additional businesses.