The City of Winnipeg has unveiled a proposed trash plan that calls for sweeping changes to how garbage and recycling is collected.

Should the plan be approved by council in late October, 250-litre rollout carts will be delivered to all single family homes in in 2012, replacing all other garbage collection methods.

The carts will be picked up and dumped by a truck with an automated arm, putting an end to the days of manual pickup by a garbage man.

Along with the trash carts, the city will also provide homes with a 240-litre cart, replacing the current manual blue box collection program.

The city's plan, which was developed from a nine-month consultation process involving more than 2,500 Winnipeggers and advice from solid waste services consultants, also calls for:

  • Implementing biweekly, manual curbside yard waste collection from April to November, starting in 2012.
  • Implementing a curbside kitchen organic waste collection, starting with a trial program in 2014.
  • Unifying the bulky waste collection fee structure to $5 per item for all customers city-wide.
  • Implementing a collection program for extra garbage bags, consistent with the bulky waste charge ($5 per pickup of up to three standard-sized garbage bags).
  • Establishing up to four community resource recovery centres where residents can drop off material that would be processed and reused, resold or recycled (e.g., construction and demolition material, household items). The first centre, at Brady Road Landfill, would open in 2013.

The city says the plan would "reduce our impact on the environment, reduce illegal dumping, provide uniform services and give residents greater access to environmental programs."

The report that outlines the plan recommends funding the changes by charging residential households $4.17 per month ($12.50 on their quarterly water bill) starting in late 2012.

The cost to provide the proposed improved programs and new services to residential households would remain one of the lowest rates in Canada, the city insists.

"If all the components of the proposed plan are implemented as a complete system, we can keep more than 50 per cent of our garbage out of the landfill by 2020," said Darryl Drohomerski, manager of the city’s solid waste services.

"This is a major improvement over the current diversion rate of 17 per cent and aligns Winnipeg with other major Canadian cities."

The city's standing committee on infrastructure renewal and public works will consider the report on Oct. 3.

It will then move to executive policy committee and eventually council for a final decision.