Richmond to test new garbage carts

Krista Kane and Danny Clyne deliver green carts to houses on a Terra Nova street last spring. The city is now eyeing a plan to roll out carts for garbage. - Matthew Hoekstra
Krista Kane and Danny Clyne deliver green carts to houses on a Terra Nova street last spring. The city is now eyeing a plan to roll out carts for garbage.
— image credit: Matthew Hoekstra

Three Richmond neighbourhoods will soon become testing grounds for a new trash collection program.

City council has approved a pilot program to test garbage pickup with new standard bins similar to green carts introduced last spring for organics collection.

Under the six-month pilot, 1,600 single-family homes and townhouses are scheduled to receive the new carts later this month. Half will continue receiving once-a-week collection, while pick-up would be reduced to once-every-two-weeks for the rest.

“The overall goal is to help gain resident input into a city-wide program to align the city’s garbage collection services with the goals for recycling and waste reduction,” said Suzanne Bycraft, manager of fleet and environmental programs, in a report to council.

Civic politicians unanimously approved the $325,000 pilot Jan. 27.

Test neighbourhoods are in the areas of South Arm Park, Odlin Park and Talmey Elementary School. Residents in the South Arm Park test group will receive a single 120-litre cart—the size of an average trash can. Other residents will get carts twice as large, but collection will be reduced to bi-weekly.

In July, staff will evaluate the program and recommend an approach for all Richmond homes on garbage service. Rolling carts out city-wide comes with a cost of $2.2 million and higher collection fees.

But staff say carts would reduce trash collection complaints, and a single recommended 120-litre cart—along with rate incentives for alternative sizes—would encourage more waste diversion.

Surrey and Vancouver already have bi-weekly garbage collection using carts. Surrey also collects recycling bi-weekly.

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