People who live in Mount Pearl say the city of St. John's should get on board with a robotic garbage collection system that they say works clean as a whistle.

The Mount Pearl garbage trucks were outfitted in 2012 with robotic arms that lift plastic trash carts off the ground and directly into the storage section of the trucks.

Mount Pearl residents pay $20 per year to rent the special plastic carts that must be used for the system, but Mount Pearl citizen Albert Caines said that was money well spent.


Mount Pearl resident Albert Caines says he's very happy with the robotic garbage collection system. (CBC )

"It's the best I've ever seen," said Caines. "Keeps the birds away, you've got a place to store your garbage. It's just overall a great idea, whoever came up with it, smart guy!"

St. John's considering system

The St. John's city council has been considering bringing the $5-million system to its garbage trucks. 

St. John's councillor Danny Breen said the system would improve worker safety while collecting garbage. 

"We've all seen that there's been issues, particularly in garbage collection with injuries," said Breen. "With certainly some of the statistics we've seen with the use of needles in the city, certainly leads us to be concerned about that as well."

In August 2012, a worker with the city of St. John's was injured when a piece of glass punctured a garbage bag and severed an artery in his arm.

Cleaner garbage collection, says Simms

Mount Pearl mayor Randy Simms said the proof of the system's success lies with watching garbage collection unfold in his city.

"Let's be honest, it's a lot, lot cleaner," said Simms.  "You don't have the garbage, you don't have the nets, you don't have the rodents, you don't have the gulls.  You don't have any of that kind of problem as a result of this system."

Breen said the cost of the putting the system in place in St. John's could be absorbed in that city's capital budget. 

However, the city would have to work out what to do with garbage collection in the downtown area, where steep hills and closely spaced houses would pose challenges, and on-street parking would create interference.