September 29, 2015 - 9:00 PM
PENTICTON - Penticton residents will soon be wheeling their garbage and recycling to the curb after council agreed to move to a cart-based system for collection.
Penticton Public Works Manager Len Robson says there will be no changes to the current program of waste, recyclable and yard waste pickup when the new program, which will cost $1.6 million to put in place, is implemented in 2016.
Robson says the new program should prove to be more convenient for the public as well as for collection contractors, who will no longer have to physically lift bins into the truck. He says not moving to the cart system of collection could result in the city being unable to attract competitive bids for garbage pickup in the future.
The three cart system for Penticton will likely provide a garbage cart of 35 gallons for weekly collection, a 65-gallon recycle cart for bi-weekly collection and a yard waste cart of 65 or 95 gallons, which will be collected bi-weekly from March to December. The carts will need to be placed at the curb side by residents in a certain way in order for garbage trucks to load them automatically.
Robson urged council to make their decision Monday, Sept. 28, in order for a public consultation to be scheduled prior to beginning implementation for 2016. He says, in order to be fair to current contractor BFI Progressive Waste Services, the program should be implemented soon. The current contract, which ends in 2018, allows the changeover with no increase in fees, and changing to the cart program earlier gives BFI Progressive Waste Services more time with the upgraded equipment while still on contract with the city.
Robson says funding for the program would come from financial incentives received through the city’s participation in the Multi Materials B.C. program. The city has already accumulated a balance through the program and would use debt financing to fund the remaining portion, which would then be paid back through further collection of the monthly program incentive. The incentives can only be used to support recycling and waste management initiatives.
Based on a 10-year lifecycle for the carts, the annual projected replacement cost is estimated at $156,000 annually. With Multi Materials B.C. incentives estimated at $467,000 annually, the incentives could be used to supplement the solid waste and recycle reserve for cart replacement, in addition to offsetting recycling costs to residents, Robson says.
Council approved the program Monday, after Robson assured councillors concerned about making the decision prior to public consultation that their approval would not be part of the consultative process. Robson says he is only looking for feedback from the public with respect to what their needs would be, and what they thought the program should look like.
Robson says if timelines are met, a tentative rollout could take place by September 2016.
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