The City of Penticton is looking for residents to help them shape a new cart-based program for garbage and recycling collection.
At their Sept. 28 meeting, council voted to move ahead with a staff recommendation to develop a curbside cart program to roll out in summer 2016.
To make sure the program meets the needs of residents, the city has launched a survey on garbage and recycling pickup.
A random telephone survey of residents will be held Nov. 3 to 18, to get a sense of what customers feel they need in terms of service. Some of the questions include: thoughts on a cart-based system; how much garbage and recycling they put out each week or how the season affects the amount of yard waste they put out.
The survey can also be completed online at surveymonkey.com/r/penticton_waste Hard copies are available at City Hall for those who don’t have computers. The survey will be open until Nov. 20.
“This is a great chance for Penticton residents to shape the municipal service in a way that works for them,” said Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.
“We hope as many people complete the survey as possible. Understanding those expectations will help the City develop a successful cart program for residents.”
Corn. Helena Konanz was concerned that the scope of the program might not work with yard waste collection in spring and fall.
“I just can’t see how it can be done with one container bi-weekly,” said Konanz, who suggest that yard waste collection be handled separately.
Len Robson, manager of public works, told council service suppliers had let him know a cart program was desirable.
“A cart program will likely never be mandatory, but what I am hearing from the service providers is that they may not bid competitively on a non-cart based program,” said Robson.
In 2013, BFI, the company contracted to handle waste and recycling pickup in the city, lobbied the city to switch from blue boxes for recycling to bags or carts, citing efficiency and a high number of injuries to their workers from the extended motion of lifting, emptying and pulling back the boxes.
The new cart program will be funded by utilizing funds accrued through the Multi Material BC program. According to the report Robson delivered to council an estimated $156,000 per year will need to be placed into the Solid Waste and Recycle Reserve to replace the carts in the future, based on a conservative 10-year lifecycle for the carts.