It’s not a huge list, but there are a few steps you have to take if you want to be sure your bins get emptied on garbage day.
Otherwise, you’re likely to find full bins with a warning decal when you go to bring them in.
Since the first bins were distributed in September, the city has been taking a soft approach, according to Len Robson, manager of public works. But, a tougher stance is causing a bit of feedback from residents who are finding their house was skipped by the garbage truck.
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Robson said there are three major rules: make sure the lid is on so it doesn’t get broken off and trash doesn’t spill: make sure the arrow is pointed at the road and space the bins at least one metre apart so the automated claw can grab them properly.
“If there isn’t at least a metre between the carts, it doesn’t work. It bangs them into other carts or knocks it into something,” said Robson. “Mostly, I’m finding people are catching on very well.”
During the first three months of the new cart program, city staff would work through neighbourhoods, correcting problems with cans and leaving notes. Robson said they’ve moved on to a tougher approach.
“You’re not going to get picked up if you don’t do what we’ve asked you to do,” said Robson.
Robson said city staff are still working with residents to sort out the problem if they call in, but the default position now is that if the bins are not placed according to the requirements, they will be skipped.
“Now they are noticing it because they go out there and their recycling is still there, or their garbage is still there with a decal on it,” said Robson. “We’ll figure out what they’re not doing right, educate them a bit and then away we go.”
Robson said staff usually gets a positive response from people once the problem has been explained to them.
“Most of the time for people, it’s never an issue again. They get it, they just didn’t understand why,” said Robson, adding there are no plans to start ticketing or taking measures other than just not collecting.
The education program has a high success rate so far, and people are accepting the cart program according to Robson, who said he’s more likely to hear positive comments.
“It is quite a significant change from where we started to where we are now,” said Robson. “We’ve tried to reach out as much as we can. They are getting it. I would say we are 95 per cent there.”