A new garbage collection system is coming to the Town of Bashaw. Town council approved the new system from current waste management company, CanPak Environmental, at no additional cost. No dates have been set when the new bins and instructions will be delivered. The bins in this photo are not exactly the same as the ones to be delivered. File photo

Bashaw council chooses new direction in garbage collection

Opportunity to head off a potentially costly upgrade wholeheartedly accepted by town council

Likely before the end of this month, Bashaw will be joining other Alberta communities that have moved to automated garbage collection.

At its meeting Jan. 4, Bashaw town council unanimously approved a motion to upgrade the entire waste collection system in town to 65 gallon carts at no extra cost.

Mark Pederson from CanPak Environmental, the town’s garbage collection contractor, in his presentation to council explained his company has acquired 11,500 automated carts from the Town of Beaumont. Pederson stated the carts are less than three years old and CanPak acquired them at a reasonable price.

“We’ve had a few discussions with the town previously and this way is the future of garbage collection. About 90 per cent of the collections we do are with the automated carts, and so when we got these used carts we decided to come and offer them to our customers that were still using manual collection,” Pederson said.

“This is a chance for a small municipality to be able to get in on this with no capital cost, if you are interested. These carts can normally cost $85 each or more if you decided to do it later. So the capital cost just to start could run upwards of $50,000.”

He added that the majority of the town would be able to keep its back alley pickup, noting he could think of only two or three streets that may have to be moved to the front due to limited ability of the truck to manoeuvre in those alleys.

“Having back alley pickup for automated collection isn’t ideal, but it really isn’t a worry for us and it’s up to council to decide,” Pederson stated.

“However, you’d be amazed at how much more clean it will look (with the carts). The old cans and the waste on the ground will disappear and it can be used like a waste reduction program to promote recycling since you can only put into the cart what it will hold.”

Before the end of the presentation, Mayor Penny Shantz thanked him and his crews for the job they have done.

Coun. Rosella Peterman asked if the carts would be adequate for most households and Pederson explained the 65-gallon cart would be capable of handling the residential volumes in Bashaw, though he does have a concern about the commercial end of things. He explained that some businesses and maybe the apartments on the system now may need a second cart.

“There may only have to be a few that need that extra cart, but those would be able to be provided also at no charge,” he said.

“Time is limited on this though as we have been saving some for certain communities. That’s not to say I need an answer tonight, but if you want to do it, we would like to start fairly quickly.”

Council’s discussion on the subject took place later on in the meeting and wasn’t long as everyone agreed it was a good idea moving forward.

The only real issue was whether to have the carts placed on one side of the alley or not, which would mean just one pass by the garbage truck. Town foreman Murray Holroyd stated it wouldn’t be much different than now, but that going with one side may help keep some areas from having to go to front pick up.

Coun. Darren Pearson’s comments echoed the rest of council’s on the topic, “It makes more sense to have it on one side as it’s simply more convenient.”

Meanwhile, Peterman added, “There are a lot that put out their garbage early, so we may need to amend the bylaw so we don’t have carts sitting out there for days, though that isn’t as crucial if they aren’t out front. I think this is a great thing, especially if they can keep back alley pick up.”

Coun. Lynn Schultz noted going this route may also help keep future cost increases down as well.

With the decision made, it will take a bit of time to get the carts delivered. In addition, each cart will come with instructions on what can go in and where they need to be placed for pick up.

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