The City of Chestermere is set to roll out a black cart waste collection system instead of clear plastic bags later this year.
“We are delighted that our staff are already finding new ways to serve residents better,” said Chestermere Mayor Marshall Chalmers.
“Many residents have been asking for this service for a long time. We heard you Chestermere, and we are pleased to be taking action,” he said.
With the black cart implementation, garbage pickup schedules will not change, and the black carts will not impact current utility rates, however, the carts cannot be used for paper, recyclable plastics, or organics.
Residents who choose to continue to use plastic bags can use any type of colour of garbage bags as there are no requirements for privacy bags. There is also no limit on the number of bags used, as long as they all fit properly in the cart.
Garbage can be placed in the carts loose or in bags. However, loose items or bags left on the ground will not be picked up.
While prohibited materials such as harmful chemicals, and explosive materials, are not allowed in the black carts but can be dropped off at the Eco Centre.
All residents who have purchased commercial grade carts can keep and use them, and more information on the types of carts permitted will be provided by the city later.
The introduction of the black cart eliminates the risk of operators stepping out of the truck without the chance of slips, trips, physical strains, and exposure to the elements, said the Environmental Services Manager with the City of Chestermere Cam Wong.
With the elimination of clear plastic bags, wildlife will not be able to get into the bag, debris won’t be scattered over roadways, privacy concerns will be removed, and residents can safely push the black cart to the curbside.
Along with eliminating safety risks of residents and operators, implementation of the black cart will also cut down costs for the city.
“A specialized truck is no longer required for a cost-benefit, the automated collection reduces the headcount from a two-man operation to a single operator,” Wong said.
“We are looking forward to providing black cart garbage service to Chestermere residents,” he said.
“Not only is it a less expensive way to operate, but this new service will improve health and safety standards for our operators. It’s a win-win for everyone,” he added.
Currently, the CUI waste collection team is operating with a reduced headcount.
Having a lower headcount will help drive down costs, operators can complete their routes quicker which will drive down costs, and the risk of injury is decreased which will drive down the cities claims, and make it safe for workers, said Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Bernie Morton.
Now the city is focusing on educating residents on effective curbside sorting techniques to eliminate the risk of contamination.
“This I believe is a step in the right direction, moving to a cart program rather than a bag,” Morton said.
“At this point in time, education is the key. We’re appealing to the good nature of people so that we can lower their rates, which is a high design for us,” Morton said.
“We’re saying just be responsible and put the proper things in the cart because the outcome means lower rates,” he added.
The new black carts are expected to be implemented in November or early December.