Edmonton

Garbage collection takes on new look in Edmonton with fewer pickups

Garbage day will take on a new look this year as the city begins distributing new waste containers to Edmonton homeowners this spring.

Goodbye garbage cans and hello 240-litre garbage carts

An automated arm on a city garbage truck picks up green garbage in the Brintnell neighbourhood in northeast Edmonton in 2019. (Natasha Riebe/CBC)

Garbage day will take on a new look this year as the city begins distributing new waste containers to Edmonton homeowners this spring.

The city is distributing 240-litre garbage carts, 120-litre food scraps carts and small food scraps pails to each single-unit home and some multi-unit homes between March and August at no cost.

"Through two rounds of public engagement, Edmontonians expressed passion for waste management in their city and support for a cart-based system," Jodi Goebel, director of waste strategy, said a news release Wednesday.

The city will empty the garbage carts every two weeks, while the food scraps carts will be emptied weekly in spring, summer and fall, and every two weeks in the winter.

The carts will be picked up and emptied by an automated arm on the collection truck, instead of by hand.

Blue bags containing recycled materials will be removed weekly.

As part of the program, the city will collect yard waste twice in the spring and twice in the fall with no volume limits.

Residents can request a smaller 120-litre garbage cart at edmonton.ca/waste and will save $3.90 monthly off the current utility rate.

The large garbage cart monthly rate will increase by $1.10 to $48.32, starting in October 2021.

The cart rollout is the first major step in the city's goal of waste reduction and 90-per-cent waste diversion, the release said.

The transition to the new system was estimated to cost $52 million and was earmarked in the city's 2019-22 capital budget. 

The three-stream collection program could be introduced to multi-unit buildings in 2023, if approved by council. The city is planning to ramp up engagement for waste separation for industrial and commercial sectors this year, with recommendations going before council in 2022. 

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