The curbside organics collection program is changing and expanding as the City of Cold Lake introduces new, automated collection carts this spring.
Similar to the current, grey waste cart program, the organics carts will have green lids and be emptied into collection vehicles using the Automated Waste Cart Collection System. Hydraulic arms lift the carts and empty them into the truck without the operator having to exit the vehicle.
“We had originally planned to continue the existing curbside organics program with a new collection vehicle that was funded in last year’s budget and due for delivery this spring,” explained Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Nagoya. “But with current supply chain issues being what they are, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic and a worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips for new vehicles, delivery of this truck is still 18 months to two years away. This challenge prompted the City to explore alternative options for organics collection, and the decision was made to repurpose an existing garbage truck to collect organics.”
At its February 22 meeting, City Council voted to divert $300,000 already allocated to pay for the new waste collection vehicle, to fund the purchase of organics collection carts. Council also approved an amendment to the 2022 Capital Budget for an additional $200,000 from surplus to pay for the remainder of the program, for a total program cost of $500,000.
“There will be no change to the collection schedule and no increase to the monthly waste collection utility fee,” said Nagoya. “Organics collection will still begin April 1 and run on opposite weeks of recycling collection until November 15 each year. We are simply changing the way in which we collect organics. There will however, be some new limits on the quantity of materials eligible for curbside pickup. Since materials will no longer be loaded into the vehicle by hand, all organic waste must be placed inside the cart.”
The current maximum of ten (10) compostable or paper bags and five (5) bundles of branches or brush will be eliminated. The Solid Waste bylaw will be updated to reflect that all materials must fit inside the cart with the lid securely closed, and items left outside the bin will not be collected. City of Cold Lake organics stickers will no longer be required as residents and collection workers will be able to identify organics carts by their green lids. Organic waste placed at the curb in bags, bunches, or in non-City-supplied collection bins will not be collected once the automated collection program begins. Residents are encouraged to drop off unlimited amounts of organic yard waste and food scraps at the Regional Waste Transfer Station year round, free of charge.
“Organics collection carts will be delivered to homes this spring, with collection ideally beginning in early summer,” said Nagoya. “Similar to the waste cart program, organics carts will be assigned to each residential address, and not to a specific resident. If you move within the city, leave your carts at your old address and use the carts at your new address. If there are no carts at the new address, contact the Waste Management department and we will get that taken care of.”
Additional details regarding the delivery of organics carts to homes and the timeline for collection will be communicated later in the spring.
For more information about the City of Cold Lake’s waste collection program, including the current curbside organics program, visit www.coldlake.com/waste.