Tuesday, July 20, 2021

How much can you cram into the can? City's delivery of new garbage cans puts the R into Reduce

Like a Faberge Egg
the new collection
of City cans
in a nesting mode
The roll out of the city's new garbage and recycling cans continues on into its second week, with two teams of workers and two U Haul rental trucks working the east and west sides of the city to drop off the equipment that will mark the launch of a recycling program this September.

Such was the enthusiasm to have the new cans delivered to the public that the delivery teams were working over the weekend with a Saturday delivery schedule that kept the pace of last week's laneway to laneway drop offs.

And as the cans arrive at their destinations, the comparisons in the size difference between the Big Blue Recycling bins and the rather smallish looking black garbage bins is rather noticeable, with the city making for a choice for a garbage bin of somewhat less capacity than many residents currently are used to and a decision which perhaps was made with a little sustainability engineering in mind.

The smaller can, one which may give residents pause to consider how much garbage they deliver to the curb each week and to consider other ways to reduce their footprint of refuse.

One of the goals for the city is to extend the life of the landfill site on Ridley Island and a nudge towards reducing the amount of garbage that residents send to that facility each day. 

That's something that Mayor Lee Brain and Ken Shaw made note of as part of their 2030 Sustainable City Report, a project delivered to City Council  in June of 2018. 

That report built on themes that the two shared from their time with Transition Prince Rupert, which has been the launch pad for many of the sustainable themes introduced through City Council since the Mayor took office.

It's not clear why the City Council chose to go with the smallish capacity can for the launch of their new initiative, at the time of the introduction of the RFP in February and then the awarding of the contract in April, the explanations towards the new program did not make for much mention of the reduced capacity.  

Nor did it make for consultation with the public as to what the new program might look like and if they may have had any concerns prior to the roll out that took place this month.

The launch of the program  has been through a mix of household mailers and  a video presentation from the Mayor to explain the new system for the public.

The City has also made use of Social Media, which has seen the Council members receiving some feedback and for the most part, the main question for many is focused on the capacity of the garbage cans, with some of those who follow the Facebook pages applauding the city for their efforts to encourage less consumption  and  others wondering just how realistic it may be for a family of more than two people.

For those with concerns over the volume of garbage that they may have and what to do with it, the City seems to have had a bit of a change of mind when it comes to what will become of your old garbage cans. 

At the time of the Bid announcement in April, the City's Operations Manager Richard Pucci had indicated in an answer to a question from Councillor Nick Adey that the old cans would no longer be allowed by the City once the new garbage can was introduced.

"The plan right now is that there will just be the two bins out front, they will be lift assist integrated ... the bins are quite large so we don't see any real major reduction in the amount of garbage and recycling. What we're going to likely see is a reduction in garbage that can fit in the one black bin and then the blue bin will be quite large where it would just have loose recyclables in it, so we don't believe that would be an issue...  But We would only take from the new bins that are out there, we won't be taking from existing bins" -- Richard Pucci on the city's plan for garbage in April

However, with the roll out this month, there is now some advice as to how you can still use your existing cans for any overflowing refuse. 

Though  that option is not prominently noted in the launch for the new program, but is included  towards the end of the city's dedicated website page for the program

Along with the new 500,000 dollar plus recycling/garbage program will apparently come a new Garbage collection schedule, something that will be announced closer to the September 1st start date for recycling.

As well, for those who wish to dispose of their old garbage cans, the city has plans for a city wide collection, that date as well yet to be decided.

Should you have more questions about the new program, you are directed to forward them to recycling@pricnerupert.ca

For those that don't particularly enjoy commenting on Social Media, you can always direct your thoughts and comments on garbage, recycling and sustainability themes to the Council members directly, you can reach the Mayor and Six Councillors through the following 


A look back at the path towards the new recycling initiative and other sustainability themes can be explored from our archive page here.

A wider overview of past Council discussion these is available here.


  1. again you sink to posting lame keyboard commando criticisms. this is not news. this is people complaining over the fact that they cannot continue throwing out unlimited amounts of garbage.

    youre on the wrong side of history yet again. this is one of the most positive environmental steps forward taken by our fair little town in a very very long time

  2. I admit, the above video is somewhat misleading as it shows blue and grey bins that are similar in size.

    But at the end of the day, the intent is to encourage recycling. Make adjustments where you can to fill up big ol' blue.

    This is a positive for our community, I can't think of another coastal community (let alone an island community) of our population size in this province that does not have municipal recycling program.

  3. I am for recycling. What gets me upset is the city being so slow to include apartments into the recycle program. At one point some of the apartments had cardboard recepticles those are long gone. The city has been workng on this for two years and have not even brought up a hint of expectations that all residents of Prince Rupert participate in saving the planet.

    Everyone recycling should of been the program from the start.