The Regional District of Nanaimo will be introducing automated curbside collection in October. (File photo)

RDN working on fees and details around upcoming automated waste pickup

Regional District of Nanaimo to implement new automated system in October

The Regional District of Nanaimo is poised to introduce a new bylaw to reflect changes in curbside collection services and utility fees.

The regional district will apply a new automated service for collection of food waste, recyclables and garbage in October. The plan requires the current bylaw to be repealed and replaced with another that will include guidelines and regulations relating to the use of specially designed wheeled carts and automated collection trucks with mechanical arms.

This summer, each RDN residential household will receive a set of wheeled carts: a recycling cart with a blue lid, a food waste cart with a green lid and gravity lock, and a garbage cart with a black lid.

READ MORE: Regional District of Nanaimo plans transition to automated curbside collection

Residents will be expected to pay for the new automated service and the fee will be based on the garbage cart size that they choose, available in 80-litre, 100L and 240L sizes. According to a staff report, the RDN has chosen 100L as the default garbage size because it is consistent with the size currently allowed under the manual collection service, is suitable for most single-dwelling household disposal needs and encourages recycling and composting to reduced the amount of garbage going into the landfill.

For the recycling cart, residents have an option of 100L, 240L (default), and 360L. For the food waste cart, 100L will be the standard for all service levels.

Resident were given the opportunity, through various communications methods, to select their cart sizes that matches their waste generation, including bear-proof carts. Residents who did not make their selection will receive the default cart sizes.

The utility fee for the new automated system for 100L garbage cart service that include food waste and recycling cart, will be $175 per year per single family, an increase of $21. The new utility fee will cover the replacement of the current trucks which are near the end of their service life, and cost of the carts.

RDN staff indicated that based on review of other municipalities and regional districts, the RDN has negotiated one of the lowest costs for automated service.

Waste Connections was granted a 10-year contract, until 2030, to provide automated collection of residential garbage, recyclables and food waste.

The solid waste management select committee endorsed a staff recommendation that the RDN board introduce, give three readings and adopt the proposed new bylaw.

The committee has also recommended to the board that the current 42L manual collection food waste bin fee for new residents be waived. Staff indicated that it would be difficult to justify charging new residents or residents requiring manual green bin when it will only be used for eight months.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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