The Town of Blackfalds is reminding citizens that proper placement of bins is needed in order to facilitate the automated pick-up process.
Garbage and recycling bins need to be at least one metre (3 ft.) apart from each other as well as any surrounding objects to ensure that the collection trucks have enough room to do their job.
“Cart placement is what we’re trying to help people with. When you change out 7,000 people’s garbage collection system, there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve, but we’re just trying to catch the last few people,” said Phil Hoyle, public works manager for the Town.
“In the summer, people are away and maybe they missed the literature that came at the start of this. We’re just trying to catch the last five per cent, and help them to get it placed properly.”
Carts are picked up by a truck with a mechanical arm, which means the bins must be placed on the street or in the alley with the wheels and handle toward the residence and with the lid facing out and opening towards the road or alley.
There are arrows on the top of the cart lid indicating the proper placement.
A one-metre clearance from all objects such as fences, parked vehicles, poles, or utility boxes must be left on all four sides. As well, a three-metre overhead clearance from trees and power lines is required.
If the bin is not compliant with Town regulations, a green sticker will be placed on the container to let the resident know that there is an issue with placement or if the bin exceeds weight restrictions.
Once the resident has complied with the waste and recycling guidelines, the collections will empty the carts and containers that were tagged on the next regular pick up day.
“Residents aren’t typically placing all of their carts and yard waste containers out every week,” said Hoyle.
“But, we estimate that we will have data on the increased diversion of waste to the landfill as a result of the new cart program in a few months’ time.”
There have been a few challenges rolling out the new collection program so far.
Residents are asked to pay attention to and attempt to resolve the following issues – proper placement of bins, adjusting to an extra collection day, proper labeling of addresses on carts and returning empty carts back onto properties within 24 hours of collection.
The Town is also encouraging residents to visit the Blackfalds web site to review what items can be placed in regular garbage and recycling pick up.
This does not include yard waste, which officials say is to be left in the old style cans that need to be emptied by hand.
Acceptable recycling materials must be clean. Items that can be recycled in the program include glass, metals, newspapers, magazines, mixed paper, cardboard, boxboard (cereal boxes, shoe boxes, etc.) and certain plastics that are listed on the Blackfalds waste recycling schedule page.
For more information regarding the change, visit www.blackfalds.ca.