Automated garbage collection to begin in 2010

New automated garbage collection trucks will be rolling down city streets in spring 2010. The City of New Westminster has ordered three new automated collection vehicles, following council’s approval of a plan to switch to state-of-the-art automated collection throughout the City. The expected delivery date for the new trucks is March 2010. The vehicles will be used to collect both garbage and Clean Green materials.

The new collection process will require residents to switch from traditional garbage “cans” to collection carts, which the City will order and distribute in conjunction with the arrival of the new trucks.

“The feedback we’ve received from residents is that they prefer the small 120 L or mid-sized 180 L carts for their household garbage,” said Jon McDonald, New Westminster’s Manager of Engineering Operations. “Most people preferred the mid-sized cart for Clean Green.”

To simplify ordering and reduce costs, all Clean Green carts and the majority of garbage carts will be the 180 L size. Residents will be able to opt for a smaller (or larger) cart at the beginning of the program.

The switch to automated collection may also offer another exciting opportunity for local residents.

“When Metro Vancouver opens its organics processing facility later this year, residents may be able to include their kitchen waste with their Clean Green,” said McDonald. “The closed collection carts will make this service easier for residents and it’s the preferred method for providing household food waste collection service.”

The City will distribute more detailed information to residents later this fall as the new program takes shape. Regular updates will also be provided through the city website at

2 Replies to “Automated garbage collection to begin in 2010”

  1. Excellent – I applaud this move primarily for the health and safety of the sanitation workers, although it sounds like other benefits can flow from it as well.

  2. So they are offering huge 180 liter garbage cans (with the option to choose a smaller one).

    The current garbage regulations can be found here and state that the limit is two 75 liter containers

    So let me get this straight – despite the talk of the zero waste challenge, the talk of a neighourhood zero waste pilot program (Councilor Laurie Williams), and the fact that the garbage that we generate is trucked (trucked 337 kilometers and up 400 meters of elevation) up to a nearly full landfill in Cache Creek, the city is increasing the amount of garbage we can generate?

    And if you opt for a smaller bin, you’ll pay the same as a resident who opts for the largest bin?

    The city survey had a section on user-pay to determine tax rates – here’s a perfect one that is a win-win-win – the environment, the city, and potentially our taxes.

    I recognize that altering a families property tax based on the size of their garbage can isn’t easy or practical, but a potential solution might be garbage stickers (like we currently have if you need to put out more than two cans).A family could get 30 in a given year, and then purchase more at $10 per can.

    The benefits would be,

    1) Cans would only go out when full, and this would make garbage collection more efficient

    2) Residents would be more mindful of their garbage, and pay more attention to recycling – how many recycle soft plastics @ the recycling depot? It moves us to a user-pay, where it’s a universal benefit if less garbage is generated.

    3) The city would either save money, or generate more revenue. The city could then make the green-waste collection year round (it ended back on Sept 19th) or add a composting option to further reduce garbage, assuming that these are not being implemented with this new pickup service.

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