Automated Bins Arrive in New Westminster

I received my new Automated Waste collection bins today. All sympathies to those who are trying to roll out this program (a little bird has it that one of them recently rolled out a new addition to his family – talk about compounding stresses!), but I am immediately unimpressed.

First, the NWEP put a lot of effort into trying to convince City Council and staff that this was the opportunity to reduce the amount of garbage people put out, and that 120L bins were more than adequate for all houses in New Westminster. After conversations with staff, and an appeal to City Council, the City found a compromise position where 120L was the default size, and larger bins would be available, for an increased annual cost.

Today, two 240L bins arrived on my stoop. One of the people who actually went to City Council and demanded a smaller bin, one who helped the City to outreach to sell the idea that 120L was all the capacity we need: I was given a 240L bin.

I called Engineering Operations, and they essentially told me that there must have been a error, and they would change it out in November.

To get an idea of how big a mistake, I did a little spin around the neighbourhood, and best I could tell, everyone on Third Ave got a 240L garbage bin. I stopped to chat to a few neighbours who were standing in front of their houses scratching their heads at their new bins, and none of them has secondary suites. None of them knew that you could request a smaller bin and (this is the important part) none of them knew that you would pay less for a smaller bin.

Second, the bins arrived on the front sidewalk. Little instruction was provided for where to put the bin on garbage day. Do I put it out where the City dropped it? Do I put it out back in the alley where I usually put my garbage (and where I have a designated spot for the trash, and a logical place to store the bins) or do I roll it out onto the street in front of the curb? There is already a limit to street parking on my street: what if all the parking spots in front of my house are full (as they are almost every evening)?

It is going to be a very, very bad month for the folks in Engineering Operations at New Westminster. More to come.

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