September 09, 2015 - 10:30 AM
PENTICTON - Automated garbage pickup could be coming to the curbs of Penticton as the city contemplates the idea of moving to a more modern system.
Penticton City Council heard about a mechanized garbage collection system at a Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday, Sept.8.
Penticton Public Works Manager Len Robson says the cart program, an automated waste pickup system using a dedicated system of three different sized garbage totes that allow for mechanized pickup, frees the garbage truck operator from leaving the garbage truck to physically load bags of garbage.
Robson says the system is seeing increased adoption in many municipalities and notes garbage collection contractors are increasingly hesitant to bid on municipal contracts where traditional garbage pickup services are conducted. He says the industry has a high rate of shoulder and back related injuries. An automated system allows for a more diversified workforce in the garbage collection industry, which is currently largely dominated by young men.
The program is estimated to cost $1.6 million to implement and could be funded through the $39,000 received by the city every month under its contractual obligations with Multi-Material B.C. for collection of recyclables. The city would have nearly $1.1 million in reserves by the time the program is implemented in September 2016, leaving $500,000 to be financed.
The program will come before council for approval before the end of September. If approved, public feedback will be sought prior to defining the goals of the program, which would need to be completed by Dec. 31 in order for the program to be implemented by September 2016.
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