New garbage cans trashed by Vernon residents

Waste collection bins too big for many households, particularly seniors'

Dorothy Mulleray, 93, with her week’s worth of garbage stands next to the enormous new waste bins each home is billed for as part of a new pilot project. (Contributed)

Carrying her week’s-worth of garbage down to newly-delivered waste collection bins, Dorothy Mulleray thought something was not right.

She held a tiny grocery bag of trash in one hand, while eyeing up the enormous 240-litre bin, which stands almost as tall as her.

The 93-year-old Vernon resident isn’t the only one wondering why the city has rolled out such large trash carts.

Many of her Cornerstone complex neighbours on 25th Avenue are shaking their heads at the big black bins too.

“Shouldn’t we be encouraging people to have less garbage instead of more garbage?” Wandy Fischer said.

Mulleray and Fischer don’t expect they will ever fill the bins, in fact they’ll probably end up just using one between the two of them, with plenty of room for more neighbours to use them.

And it’s a good thing, because their driveway would be completely blocked by the trash cans if they were all used.

Each of the bins has to be placed one metre apart from the next in order for the waste pickup truck arms to access them. But with nine cans from the multi-unit complex stretched out in front, it blocks the driveway.

Not to mention, most of the residents have nowhere to store these monstrous bins, as they are too big to fit in their tiny garages.

“They don’t know what to do with them,” Fischer said of her neighbours, who all had a good laugh when they rolled the bins out on garbage day and realized they were blocked in.

“I’m sure we’re not the only ones.”

Friends of theirs in their 80s, who live on a hill, are left wondering how to get the carts to the curb without going for a spill.

“That thing is going to take them down the hill,” Fischer said.

Most Vernon residents have now received the bins as part of the automated residential waste collection system. Residents are asked to start using them immediately.

Each comes with an information card saying how and where to put the bins. But as many have found, there is some confusion with the information. It says that wheels should be placed towards the curb. But that is only if the bin is placed on the road.

Residents who were previously permitted to use the bins as water containers, to quickly and easily address potential spot fires, if embers travelled into their neighbourhood from the White Rock Lake wildfire, are now asked to use the bins for garbage as the fire is being held.

These residences were located in Canadian Lakeview Estates, Adventure Bay, the southwest portion of Tronson Road and Eastside Road.

“Residents may consider using the water for practical reasons on their properties (such as watering their garden or lawn), or storing it in a different container to be used over time, instead of discarding it all at once,” the city said in a Sept. 2 media release.

The city continues to deliver the new automated carts to all portions of the community and anticipates deliveries to be complete later this month.

The cart sizes are based on current accepted waste volumes, but changes may be considered in 2022 when the city looks at the potential of adding compost bins.

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Vernon Morning Star