Since the new automated garbage collection system began this week, the City of Kimberley has received many inquiries about the service moving forward.
“There has been lots of discussion about the new garbage carts, inevitably not all positive,” wrote Mayor Don McCormick in a press release. “It is a fairly substantial change. Kimberley has a very difficult geography in which to implement a City-wide change like this. Staff request your patience and cooperation as we work through the change.”
The size of the new garbage carts
McCormick says the 120 litre volume is 22 per cent smaller than the previous two-can allowance of 154 litres. For those that used to fill the 154 litres, there are two options. The first is to take the challenge to reduce the amount of garbage you produce.
“Most would agree that reducing our volume of garbage is an important consideration that all of us should be trying to do, perhaps more recycling will result from this automated system and help our community become more sustainable,” McCormick wrote.
The second option is to pay for a larger cart.
“If you find it impossible to reduce the volume of garbage you are producing, then the City will make a larger volume can available, with some additional charge to be determined. We ask that you try the new carts for a few weeks and then decide if more volume is needed.”
Taking your garbage to the transfer station
Many people take their garbage to the transfer station for a variety of reasons, says McCormick.
“You are certainly open to do that, however there will be no elimination of the garbage utility charge should you decide to do that,” he explained. “The new cart remains with the home and is property of the City of Kimberley.”
The front curb-side pick up is a change for those who have been putting their garbage cans in the alleyways. McCormick says that the City is asking residents to again, try out the new system for a few weeks, as they will then use the experience to “rectify any issues that are discovered over that time”.
The timing remains the same: residents are to put their garbage curb-side no earlier than 5a.m. on the day of collection, and no later than 7a.m..
Bears and other animals
McCormick says that animal resistant carts are not being used across the City for a variety of reasons. He stated that the only true bear-proof carts are made of steel and secured to the ground, and are not suitable for residential use.
“Animal resistant carts have latches to hold the lid down. Those latches need to be released at the turn or the cart won’t empty, and in the wintertime the latches can freeze,” wrote McCormick. “Only a few neighbourhoods have animal issues severe enough to warrant those carts.”
The City will be making animal resistant carts available to those that need them, with an additional charge (to be determined), only after the implementation of the City-wide change is completed.
Recycling and composting
The new system has potential for growth into recycling and even compost carts. At this time, says McCormick Green Earth Recycling, a private contractor, will pick up your recycling at your residence and composting is available at Cominco Gardens along with the volunteer ran Community Gardens, located beside the Aquatic Centre and beside Centennial Field.
“It makes sense to implement one change at a time, and as we have seen from the many comments so far, making change work is not easy,” McCormick explained. “This change in garbage collection is more efficient, less costly, and safer to workers than how the City has historically been collecting garbage. Garbage rates have been reduced this year to reflect this. We ask for your cooperation in making the change a positive one.”
At a regular Council meeting on Monday, June 11, 2018, Council and staff discussed the new system.
Senior Manager of Operations Chris Mummery explained that it took Operations a “little longer than expected” to deliver all of the carts, however most of them were delivered on time for collection.
“There have been lots of good questions, comments, and concerns, things like that,” said Mummery. “We’re working through most of it. It will be a little bit of growing pain for a while. Change is not always easy.”
Councillor Kent Goodwin added that residents should check with the City’s website to see if their route time or day has changed.
“Upper Chapman camp is on a different day now, along with the ski hill area, so that’s a fairly large change,” explained Mummery.
Councillor Albert Hoglund mentioned the alley to front-curb change. Mummery explained that the change is primarily due to the size of the truck.