Posted & filed under Bear Aware, Community, Government.

The City of Fernie will be moving to an automated curbside waste and recycling collection service starting June 1, 2018. Council voted this week to award the contract for residential curbside Waste Collection Service to Southeast Disposal Ltd.

Here is an example example of an automated waste collection service:

The new service will replace the current manual collection service for all existing residential customers. Each home will be provided with standardized carts – a 120 L wildlife resistant cart for garbage with a locking lid designed to reduce wildlife access, and a 240L cart for recycling. On collection days, only these carts will be picked up by the automated collection trucks.

Automated collection services are increasingly becoming the norm in municipalities across BC.

This move provides a number of benefits to the community:
– The introduction of wildlife resistant carts will reduce wildlife access to garbage on waste collection days when carts are placed outside at the curbside.
– The weight of the waste will no longer be an issue. The supplied carts have wheels to make it easier for residents to bring their waste to the curbside, and the automated collection will reduce injury for operators who will no longer be required to lift and tip heavy bins manually.
– Each cart will also be equipped with an RFID tag that is registered to a specific residence, providing an enhanced tracking system. The tags are scanned with the carts are collected and help streamline customer inquiries, complaints and compliance issues.
– Automated collection is quicker than manual collection which allows the contractor to deliver collection services to the community over three days rather than four thereby reducing GHG emissions created from the collection vehicles by 25%.
– Automated collection sets the City up for inclusion of a wildlife resistant kitchen waste curbside collection service when a processing facility becomes available.

The new carts are slated to be delivered to each residence in May, in preparation for the new service to start in June. Since the carts will be picked up by an automated truck, carts will be required to be placed a certain way at the curbside with the lid in a locked position. The City will provide additional information this spring to help with the smooth transition to the automated collection system. Garbage will continue to be collected every week and recycling collection will remain biweekly, but your neighborhood specific collection days may change due to the shortened time required to collect waste.

You will still be required to store your carts inside until the morning of your collection day, to ensure that all wildlife attractants are secure. The wildlife resistant carts are intended as an added level of protection for when the bins are on the street on collection day. The garbage cart comes with a locking lid that only opens when flipped entirely upside down. Residents will be required to lock the cart when placing it at the curbside on collection day. The automated arm of the collection truck will pick up the garbage cart and turn it 180 degrees upside, allowing the waste to be emptied into the truck.

There will be no increase in utility rates for garbage and recycling in 2018. In 2019, the rate for the new service will increase from $74.64 per year to $154.99 per year. The City of Fernie’s current contract for waste collection is ending, and this increase includes both the increased cost for continuing with the existing service level, as well as $46 annually to move to automated collection.

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