The new 240-litre sized trash cans in Vernon for automated pick-up have been getting mixed reviews to the point Vernon council voted unanimously Tuesday, Sept. 7, to purchase smaller bins which residents can request. (Contributed)

Vernon to purchase smaller garbage bins, available upon request

City's new automated program uses 240-litre size bins, which some residents say are much too big; city to buy 120-litre size bins

If you think the City of Vernon’s new garbage bins are just the right size, great.

If you think the bins are too big, too bulky and too inconvenient you’re not alone.

If you would like a smaller bin, the city will be happy to oblige.

Vernon council debated a report on the 14,000, 240-litre size bins that have been fully distributed throughout the city and collected for the first time Friday, Aug. 27 as the city shifted to automated waste collection.

Administration has provided residents details regarding the supply of the cart and modifications to the collection service in a number of ways including media releases, a pamphlet included with the July utility billing, informational handouts and door hangers that are provided with each cart.

Residents have also been directed to the city’s web page that includes detailed program information.

“To date, the city has received approximately 60 inquiries and complaints that have been primarily focused on the size of the cart,” said Ian Adkins, manager of roads, drainage and airport. “Although the new carts are taller, they do not take up a significant amount of additional floor space when compared to a regular can.”

Prior to the transition to the new carts, residential premises were permitted a weekly two-bag (can) limit of garbage, not to exceed 200 litres. The new cads currently provide a weekly garbage limit of 240 litres. As per council direction, staff is currently negotiating a new Waste Collection Services contract that will include weekly organics collection commencing in May 2022.

Once in place, garbage will be collected bi-weekly with the new 240-L cart, a 40 per cent volume reduction from the original 200-L weekly garbage limit. Should residents still want smaller carts following the change in garbage collection to bi-weekly, council could decide to provide a smaller cart option at that time.

However, council voted unanimously Tuesday, Sept. 7 to provide smaller 120-L carts immediately to residents that request them, and not to exceed spending $50,000 on them.

“Based on current requests, approximately 200-to-500 carts will be required at a cost of $20,000-to-$50,000,” said Adkins. “There is the possibility that residents requesting the smaller carts now will request the larger carts once the garbage collection service transitions to a bi-weekly schedule.”

Coun. Kari Gares pondered if the city should purchase more of the smaller bins now, citing the large amount of strata complexes in the city. She also wanted the city to collect more information on the program before purchasing smaller bins.

The additional cost to provide 120-L carts could be funded, said Adkins, by increasing the Refuse Collection and Recycling Fees identified in the Fees and Charges Bylaw. The estimated time of delivery for new 120-L carts is approximately 6-8 weeks.

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Vernon Morning Star