Pick-up schedules aren’t the only things changing this week with the region’s new waste management plan.
Along with a different garbage and recycling schedule, residents of Wellesley and Woolwich townships will be seeing new waste vehicles on the roads as of this morning.
The new trucks came along with new waste management provider, Emterra Environmental, and allow for fewer trucks on the road, streamlining garbage and recycling pick-up.
Cari Rastas Howard, a project manager with waste management at the Region of Waterloo, notes things are going to look a little different.
“The newest thing for the townships are the co-collection trucks. It looks like regular garbage truck if you are looking out of your window at the road, but if you stand behind it and watch where they are throwing the garbage, it is split in half, with the lime green back end,” she said.
The region has had similar trucks in use in Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge for the last few years, but the change was a bit much for some residents when the trucks hit the road.
Rastas Howard says not to worry.
“Our last contractor in the tri-cities used this style of truck with the last contract. The one thing that we want your residents to know is that it might look like that garbage is being thrown in the truck with the green bin. We just want to reassure everyone that they are going into two different compartments and being kept separate,” she said. “The hard work they are doing to use their green bins is actually being carried on. We had lots of miscommunication when these trucks started in the tri-cities. We know there will be people who are wondering what is going on.”
The cost of the new vehicles was included in the contract, accepted by the region last fall. Providing new trucks was part of the initial tender put out to environmental and waste management companies last year. The new contract costs $18.5 million annually.
“We have changed contractors and the new contractors got to decide how they wanted to pick up the waste. We told them in the contract that they needed to pick up garbage every second week, yard waste on the alternating weeks, and green bins and blue boxes every week and this is how they decided to do that,” she said. “It doesn’t cost the region extra because it was part of the contract put out to tender. The rate we are paying Emterra includes the new trucks. It is all rolled into the overall cost of the contract. It is included in the contract council approved.”
The changes to Woolwich and Wellesley’s garbage and recycling collection schedule are in full effect this week, bringing bi-weekly garbage pick-up and weekly blue and green bin pick-up.
Green bins and blue bins have been available at regional offices since the composting program was introduced seven years ago in the region’s urban centres, but with the collection changes, they have seen a large increase in demand for the recycling containers.
Currently, the region is out of green bins until later this month. There is a limited number of blue bins available for pick up. In 2016, the demand for green bins in the Region of Waterloo almost quadrupled from 6,000 distributed annually, to over 20,000 once changes were announced.