Tote inspection program launched by Cheektowaga

CHEEKTOWAGA (Submitted) – Supervisor Diane Benczkowski and Councilmember Christine Adamczyk, who oversees the Sanitation Department, have initiated a new tote inspection program intended to make sure all garbage and recycling totes are in good working order.  This program will protect the Town’s financial investment in garbage and recycling totes, making sure that any damaged totes are replaced.  In doing so, the Town will also ensure that all totes are serving their intended purpose of keeping neighborhoods free of trash and rodents.

In 2012, the Town purchased 35,000 garbage totes totaling over $1.5 million.  The next year, the Town purchased recycling totes for over $1.9 million.  All totes came with a 10-year warranty covering the repair or replacement of damaged totes.  With nearly $3.4 million invested in garbage and recycling totes, the Town is proactively protecting that investment by ensuring every residence continues to have a working and effective tote.

As part of this new program, a floating employee from the Sanitation Department will inspect and replace damaged totes.  Totes will only be replaced if structurally damaged; a tote will not be replaced for any other reason.  The employee will inspect the tote for damage, the damage will be properly detailed and it will be determined if replacement parts are needed or if it should be replaced with a brand new tote.  The Town will then contact the manufacturer to file a claim.

Garbage and recycling totes were originally purchased and introduced to keep neighborhoods clean; make garbage and recycling pickup more effective and efficient; and fight and prevent widespread problems of rats and rodents.  While the totes had initially helped rid the town of rats in most neighborhoods, sightings have recently increased.

“By starting the tote inspection program, we are making sure that each and every tote is serving its intended purpose of storing garbage and recycling away from the sight of neighbors or out of reach from rodents,” said Supervisor Diane Benczkowski.  “By getting rid of food sources, rats and rodents will not thrive.  A good tote is only as good as the individuals and families using the totes.  We need each and every resident’s help to make sure that garbage and recycling is properly placed in the tote and not disposed of in a careless manner.”


“I’ve received numerous complaints about the increase in rat problems and we’re trying to be proactive about this.  The tote inspection program is a great idea to get a handle on all damaged totes before the warranty runs out,” said Councilmember Christine Adamczyk.

Residents are also being reminded to properly maintain their totes by rinsing and cleaning out totes on a semi-annual basis.  In addition, totes must not be altered in any way.  A resident’s address may be placed on the tote with adhesive numbers, but any permanent markings, such as paint, cannot be used.  The original totes must stay with the house when changing owners or occupants.

“This tote inspection program and warranty fulfillment program is another example of how our town is trying to protect the taxpayers by protecting our current investments, while also preventing future costs or rodent infestations,” said Benczkowski.

If residents have a damaged tote, they are asked to call the Sanitation Department at (716) 686-3426 for an inspection.  Additional garbage totes are available for sale in the Town Clerk’s office and additional recycling totes are free upon request.


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