City of Nanaimo says it’s ‘back on track’ with waste collection

Mechanical issues, new development stressing system

The city acknowledged its delays with garbage collection in recent weeks and says it’s now back on track.

According to a City of Nanaimo press release, “a combination of mechanical issues and additional pressures on the sanitation section caused the delays” with waste collection recently.

The city release noted that 1,100 “new collections” have been added to the routes over the past year. Currently, eight trucks service more than 29,000 homes with another truck due to come into service in mid-2020.

Charlotte Davis, city manager of sanitation, recycling and public works administration, thanked residents for their patience and apologized for the inconvenience caused by collection delays.

“As you can imagine, when city growth is unexpectedly off the charts as we are experiencing in Nanaimo, we are left having to collect more waste with the same number of vehicles. Add to that a couple of breakdowns in the fleet and the result is that we fall behind in our collections,” Davis said in the release. “We are working hard to build capacity in our operations by servicing our vehicles more effectively and adding to our existing fleet.”

She told the News Bulletin she’s confident that the mechanical problems are fixed for now.

“The issue is that we’re so stretched in terms of having eight vehicles to collect waste from 29,200 homes,” she said. “You just have one breakdown, it causes a trickle effect.”

Asked if residents who miss a collection should be bringing their full bins back in from the curb at night, Davis noted that waste collection can sometimes continue until 7 or 8 p.m. and suggested people sign up for service alerts via a mobile app.

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