Residents can be assured that the trash and recycling they took care to separate remains that way, city officials say. Pine Tree Waste, a part of Casella, is now using dual compartments trucks on the Saco routes. Saco officials have been getting calls from residents, so are putting out the word that all is well. Amy Oliver/City of Saco Photo

SACO — The phones have been ringing at Saco City Hall, with residents letting staff know they’ve seen the trash truck dumping recycling and trash into the same hopper.

But in this case, it’s all okay, city officials say.

Pine Tree Waste added a dual compartment truck to its fleet several months ago, which allows them to pick up both trash and recycling bins at the same time, said the city’s director of communications, Emily Roy.

“The operator pushes a button in the cab separating the items to either the left or the right, depending on whether the cart contains trash or recycling,” she said.

It is important for residents to continue to separate their trash and recycling into the provided containers, Roy said, adding that recycling continues to be a top priority as it has both environmental and financial benefits for the community.

Dual compartment trash and recycling not only reduces the amount of fuel and energy used, but also lowers the number of truck trips and reduced wear and tear on city streets, say Public Works officials.

This also means pickups occur quicker than usual. Trash and recycling collections begin every day at 6 a.m., according to the Public Works Department, which recommends that residents have their carts out before that time. Department staff also noted different drivers take different routes, construction can change things, and routes can change — another reason to have the carts out early.

Carts must be at least one foot apart and at least two feet from any obstacle that could prevent the arm from fully lifting and emptying the cart (this can include cars or mailboxes), Roy said.

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