In about four years, Edmontonians could be wheeling their garbage out to the curb instead of hauling it in plastic bags.

The city’s waste department wants to test a bin or cart system, much like the ones used in St. Albert or Sherwood Park.

The new system would have to work in Edmonton’s narrow alleys, lanes and cul-de-sacs, as well as in different types of weather.

St. Albert bins

St. Albert uses a bin system for waste collection. (Keenan Fitzpatrick )

“It can also be challenging in the winter with a lot of snow and ice on the road and alleys,” spokesperson Connie Boyce said.

“So those are some of the things that we would need to check and see if it's feasible in Edmonton.”

A cart system could also make it easier on workers’ bodies because the plastic bins are lifted and emptied by a collection truck.

“I think most of us would be pretty happy with an automated system,” said city waste collector Chad Mickelborough.

"We get a lot of broken glass or needles. So it would save us from getting out, touching it, cutting our legs up."

Council will be asked to fund a pilot project in next’s year’s budget.

Even if the new system is approved, bins won’t appear on Edmonton streets until 2018 when the city’s contracts with private waste collection companies come to an end.