Wednesday, July 28, 2021

More advice on city's new garbage collection policy to come this summer, as size of City supplied cans brings questions to Council members

Prince Rupert residents received the new garbage and
recycling bins over the last few weeks

(photo provided by NCR reader)

The city's launch of the new garbage and recycling program is still creating a few more questions than it has answered, with the size of the new city supplied garbage cans making for some conversation at the Monday night City Council Session.

Councillor Nick Adey provide for the talking points on the night, taking up the topic of the City's recycling program which he observed was a giant step forward. 

Though the Councillor did relay some comments from the public over the size of the city supplied garbage cans and asked for some clarity from city staff as to the policies in place towards additional garbage need.

"Recognizing that my position on the recycling program is that it's a giant step forward and the question I ask is in that spirit. What I am hearing more often than anything now is a comment on the size of the garbage cans. So I guess as a point of clarity for the public, is it my understanding that those households who find themselves in excess capacity of that garbage can, can still put out a second garbage can that will be taken" -- Councillor Nick Adey

The feedback from the community on the size of the city supplied garbage cans was something which we noted last week, that as the roll out of the delivery of the cans made its way across the city.

Director of Operations Richard Pucci spoke to the topic, noting that city staff is considering a program for those residents who have more garbage that one container can hold, a proposal which would see those residents be charged for a second bin from the City, and as time goes on they can return the bin to the city and the charge will be taken off. 

"We've heard some of those comments coming forward and we're looking at a program where households that believe they are going to come up with more garbage and still be recycling will have an opportunity to get a second bin, at a charge, and then when they no longer need that bin they can return it to the city and that charge will then be taken away.

The idea is that, at the time that you need that bin, the second bin, for however many number of years you can use that but as time goes on you probably won't need the bin anymore and it can be returned back and your service will just be back to the standard service -- Operations Manager Richard Pucci

Mr. Adey further observed how he and his household had explored ways to adjust their footprint, however he also raised the topic of how there needs to be a level playing field for those living at home alone and for larger families, noting how those two sets of circumstances should be taken into account.

In reply, Mr. Pucci outlined how staff would be coming back to Council shortly with something for a review for the program re-roll out.

"So we will be bringing something back to Council to review, and so ultimately Council will have the decision on sort of the program re-roll out.  But you know we feel that we've given a net positive as you know with the amount of sort of let's say airspace within the two bins it actually is a positive amount to just the two bags that you get now. So it equates to probably about four bags when you look at the amount that goes in the garbage and the amount that goes into the recycling which is quite a bit larger"

The Director of Operations further noted how residents can drop as many bags as they like in the new city black bins which makes use of a dumping mechanism and can thus have more garbage loosely placed into the city supplied cans.

"We're not doing a bag limit anymore, it is, it's you know kitchen catchers and smaller things can go in that black garbage can which then can be sort of compacted more, so it's not just two bags in there. Because it's a dumping mechanism now so it can be more loosely put in and compacted into that can"

To bring that discussion to a close, Councillor Adey once again reinforced his enthusiasm for the new program and note that was relaying questions that he had heard.

The indication that residents cannot use their own garbage cans but will be charged for a second city supplied can seems to be a slight change from some original information posted to the city website just a few weeks ago; which as we noted at the time seemed to suggest that residents could use their own cans for any garbage overflow from the city supplied version.

Judging by some of the confusion over the mid summer roll out of the program, another information campaign may be required by the City to help clarify some of the still fluid views of how the twin programs are going to work.

When the city's curb side recycling program starts in 
September, the product will be taken to the Kaien Road
Regional Recycling centre for further action by the facility

Earlier in the evening, during the Committee of the Whole session the city's recycling program was noted by one city resident, who had asked Mr. Pucci what happens to the recycling material once it will picked up at curb side.

In reply, the Director of Operations observed that it would then be taken to the Regional Recycling Centre and that they decide on how to dispose of the material according to their own policies.

You can review the themes of garbage and recycling from the City's Video archive from both the Committee of the Whole session of Monday night 23 minute mark  and later in the Regular Session towards the end during the Councillor's Comments or Question segment Fifty minute mark.

For more notes related to Monday's Council Session see our Council Timeline Feature.

A wider overview of past Council Discussion themes is available from our archive page here.

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