Select Nanaimo households will get automated garbage pick up

NANAMO – Council has agreed to automated garbage system for one-third of the city.

An order will soon be placed for the city’s first automated garbage trucks.

Nanaimo city council has agreed to automate garbage pick up for a third of the Harbour City to the tune of an estimated $2.3 million.

The decision is a change in direction for councillors who originally agreed to buy two manually-operated but “automation-ready” vehicles earlier this year.

It’s also not the $6.8-million strategy for automation pitched by city staff members in April.

Council was asked Oct. 26 to approve a phased three-year, $6.8-million plan to help address a collection system taxed by staff injuries and mechanical problems. It would see the city commit to purchasing 90,000 wheeled bins and eight automated trucks, which would allow for bulk purchasing and consistent user rates across the city. Recycling would also be brought in house.

Council scrapped those staff recommendations in a 5-4 vote, choosing instead to purchase two automated trucks and 30,000 wheeled bins. In-house recycling will also cover just a third of city households.

It’s not yet known what that means for user rates, and the city’s recycling contract for the those homes not covered under the new program or when the rest of Nanaimo will be included in the automated system, but Charlotte Davis, the city’s manager of sanitation and recycling said council’s decision is still a huge positive.

“It’s a bit more broken down, absolutely, and it might be a bit more work, but it’s a huge step forward and as well, I am bolstered by council’s reference I just come back next year [with Phase 2],” she said. “I do think people are going to love the new automation system.”

Nanaimo city councillors spent more than an hour debating the approach to automated garbage pick up. Councillors Ian Thorpe and Wendy Pratt favored the original strategy pitched by city staff. Thorpe said it will save money in the long term and reduce or eliminate workplace injuries. He did not see the point in phasing in two automated vehicles at a time, with a business plan that shows it makes sense to do it now and take advantage of bulk buying and a CNG rebate.

Pratt said the original plan was a well thought-out plan to get to a point where all employees are safe, protects the taxpayer and the budget. She is “shocked” council turned it down.

However, other councillors took issue with the expense of eight trucks and preferred starting off with a commitment of just two. Coun. Jerry Hong said he has no problem with taking a look at the plan continuing next year if there’s success and still believes they are moving forward.

Coun. Jim Kipp said council is actually speeding up the process and farther ahead than where it was, when it approved automation-ready vehicles in June.

The process to purchase trucks is expected to begin immediately.

 

Just Posted

Nanaimo author B.S. Thompson has released his debut novel, ‘The Book of Nodd.’ (Photo courtesy Nora Funk)
Nanaimo author invites readers into dangerous world of dreams in debut novel

B.S. Thompson unveils ‘The Book of Nodd’ with online launch June 20

Potters Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter present their joint exhibit ‘Dig It’ at Art 10 Gallery until the end of June. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Potters show pieces for home and garden at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter’s show ‘Dig It’ on display until end of June

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read