The Regional District of Nanaimo will start laying the foundation for the new automated curbside collection program, set to start on Oct. 1.
The RDN plans to deliver (to approximately 30,000 households between July 13 and Sept. 15) three wheeled carts — one for garbage, one for recycling, one for food waste and an information package that details how to use the new system and explaining best waste management practices.
The RDN’s zero waste co-ordinator, Vivian Schau, said in her report to the Solid Waste Management Select Committee meeting on July 7 that effective communication is vital to the success of the new collection program.
A comprehensive communication strategy has been put in place that focuses on three key points: the start of the new service, when the carts are being delivered and how residents should use them. A dedicated hotline and website for assistance and additional resources has been created and will be in place until December.
Drivers will also be equipped with business cards with the hotline number.
Waste Connections of Canada has been contracted for the transition to an automated collection serice and has been working with RDN staff identify areas that will be difficult to access under the new program. By the end of July, properties with access issues will receive letters on the preferred cart placement locations to make them safer to access and serviced.
The new carts have large sturdy wheels and stable base that make them easy to haul on pavement, gravel, grass and snow. They can also be affixed to vehicles to allow residents to tow them. A new video will be released that shows the attachments.
Communities that may already have the new carts are asked not to use them yet, as their size and weight makes it difficult to manually empty them and they may not be collected. They are asked to use them when the new collection service starts in October.
For the old containers, the RDN is co-ordinating a used container and recycling program. Residents are also advised to find creative and environmentally friendly ways to reuse or repurpose the old containers, to keep them out of the landfill.