ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. — The City of Zephyrhills is getting ready to roll a $1.2 million program to keep streets clean. 

  • Zephyrhills introducing Z-cart to customers
  • New truck lifts carts, reduces injuries to workers
  • Turns a 3-person job into a 1-person job

Starting next month, a Z-cart is being delivered to each of the 7,500 customers whose trash the city collects.  It's being paired with a new truck that takes care of heavy lifting for crews — introducing automated collection to the city. 

"We run across all kinds of hazards — chemicals, broken glass, hypodermic needles. So we really want to protect our workers," Zephyrhills Public Works Director Shane LeBlanc said. 

It's normally a three-person crew that handles trash collection.  One person drives the truck and the other two dump the trash.  This new system turns that into a one-person job. 

The Z-carts are free unlike the city's current totes, which cost $95.  The hope is that they'll cut back on instances of people leaving trash out in just bags. 

"If they put the bag out the night before, rodents might get into the bag and by the time our crew rolls in there to pick up the trash, the trash would be strewn about from the rodents," LeBlanc said. 

One new resident said he's looking forward to the change. 

"They're quick now, but the guys jump on and off — this could reduce injuries," resident Brian Mathews. 

As the only municipality in Pasco County to handle its own trash collection, LeBlanc said it's important to keep on top of industry standards. 

LeBlanc said no jobs will be cut.  The city also plans to automate its recycling program next year.