Central Nanaimo first to test automated garbage collection

NANAIMO – The city announced central Nanaimo neighbourhoods will be the first to see automated garbage pick up.

Central Nanaimo residents will be the first in the city to get automated garbage pick-up.

The City of Nanaimo announced today that 8,500 households in central Nanaimo will be the first to get automated garbage collection, beginning this fall.

City council decided last year to automate two trucks and purchase 90,000 bins to the tune of an estimated $2.3 million. It’s not the three-year roll-out plan proposed by staff members, which would have seen eight trucks purchased and more bins for $6.8 million, but it will service one-third of the Harbour City.

According to Brian Denbigh, the city’s acting manager of sanitation, recycling and public works administration, central Nanaimo is a good test area for its geography, which includes hills and tighter roads that the trucks would encounter in other areas of the city.

Under the new service, residents in the area, which includes Brechin, Westwood Lake, Wellington and parts of Departure Bay, will be required to kick their cans to the curb to make way for new kitchen waste, recycling and garbage carts expected to be issued this October and November. The cost to property owners will be $45 annually over five years, a City of Nanaimo webpage shows. A daily charge will be added to user rate bills.

Owners of newly constructed homes will have to buy the series of carts from the city for $225.

Carts will have to stay with homes, even if there’s a change in ownership. The carts have chips that identify them as belonging to the property.  After a two-month trial period, people will be able to increase the size of their carts. A larger 120 litre garbage cart, for example, will boost user rates by $80 a year. There will also be an exchange fee of $25, and another $25 fee if people want the carts delivered by city employees.

For a map of the area about to get automated service, please visit http://goo.gl/EjfwYw. More information on the curbside collection can be found on the city website at http://goo.gl/psh0c1.