In a departure from the norm, the Sanitation Department asked the City Council on Thursday night to pass over three lower bidders for refuse and recycling carts.

Sanitation Director Cheryl Harrington recommended that the Council choose a cart, while more expensive, that has given good service with fewer repairs or replacements required.

The lowest bid was for $46.79 from Otto Environmental, but Harrington asked the Council to choose carts from Toter Inc. at $50.47 each.

"We have many Toter carts throughout the city and are impressed with the quality and design of the Toter product," Harrington said.

She added that the city has been replacing old carts with Toter carts for a few years, and (we) "would like our neighborhood and commercial customers using carts to eventually become uniform in waste containment."

The uniformity would allow truck arms to be adjusted to fit just one container and by having done so, lessen the frequency of dropping a container in the hopper of the truck or crushing a container due to the tautness of the arm belts, she wrote.

In a winning plea for granting the request, Harrington wrote:

"The final and oddest reason is animosity.

"It is unbelievable how many carts are purposely destroyed each year because one or two neighbors received a new cart and someone else didn’t.

"By all containers being the same, a new container would not stand out."

The Council accepted the higher bid.

(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at and at 505-1234.)