The city of Fort Worth is using the latest in logistics and camera technology to help curb noncompliant residential garbage and recycling customers.

The details

The city imposed fines of $6 for an overloaded cart and $3 for each loose garbage bag beginning Jan. 1. According to a city website, definitions for overloaded carts and loose garbage bags are as follows:
  • An overloaded cart is any cart with a lid that is not fully closed due to excess garbage or recycling materials
  • A loose bag is any bag of garbage or recycling material that is placed outside of/next to the city-provided garbage or recycling cart
Loose bags do not include the Kraft paper yard bags that are part of the city’s weekly yard waste program. A city website stated that those bags must be properly placed and separated at least 2 feet from garbage and recycling carts.

The backstory

The news release stated that the city began using trash and recycling carts in 2003. On Sept. 19, 2023, Fort Worth City Council adopted an ordinance amending the service fee for overloaded carts and loose bags.

Before Sept. 19, the city’s waste disposal provider, Waste Management, was billing the city for each overloaded cart and loose bag, according to a city website.

A closer look

Waste Management uses vehicles equipped with Smart Truck technology to determine noncompliant carts. According to a city website, garbage trucks that service the city are equipped with technology that includes automated side load collection access, vehicle cameras and image recognition software. These trucks can capture data to monitor collections, resolve resident issues, verify noncompliant disputes and improve service levels in real time on its routes.

What you need to know

According to the news release, if fined, a resident will see the fee on their utility bill as part of their solid waste fees. Residents wanting to appeal the fine can contact the city's call center at 817-392-1234.