The RDN is currently reviewing service delivery options for the future solid waste curbside collection program. File photo

Regional District of Nanaimo weighing pros and cons of automated garbage pickup

Online survey that will guide region’s decision making

The Regional District of Nanaimo wants the public to give their input about their preferred method of collection for waste, recycling and organics.

It launched a survey online that the regional district hopes will encourage residents to engage in determining their choices as well as the associated costs attached to them. The consultation process runs August to September.

Zero waste co-ordinator Vivian Schau said residents’ feedback will be instrumental in determining the future of curbside collection.

The RDN is currently reviewing service delivery options for the future solid waste curbside collection program as its contract with Waste Connections Canada is set to expire in 2020.

The regional district is weighing the pros and cons of switching from manual curbside collection to a fully automated or semi-automated collection system. One of the main concerns is safety. The manual garbage collection process is significantly labour intensive, requiring crew to lift on average 12,000 pounds per worker during garbage and food waste collection day.

Injuries stem from repetitive motion, slips and trips and exposure to sharp objects and infectious diseases.

An automated waste collection system is safer and based on other cities that use them, more efficient, according to a staff report. More than 30 per cent productivity efficiency has been achieved mainly due to reduced variability in the collection containers and the elimination of manual involvement in the retrieval of collection containers which results in more pickups in the same timeframe, covering the same geographical area or route with few drivers. The RDN is doing the review now to give Waste Connections Canada ample time to execute any changes and also acquire new vehicles to meet the new requirements.

To take the survey, visit www.getinvolved.rdn.ca/beyondrecycling.

RELATED: Automated garbage collection rolling out for the rest of Nanaimo

Send story tips: michael.briones@pqbnews.com

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