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Cold Lake to roll out automated curbside organics collection

The City of Cold Lake is introducing new automated collection carts this upcoming spring with changes to the curbside organics collection program.

The new organic carts will have green lids and be emptied into collection vehicles using the Automated Waste Cart Collection System similar to the current grey waste cart program.

Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Nagoya says they 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.

“The 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.”

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At a recent City Council meeting, a choice was made to divert the $300,000 that was previously allocated to pay for the new waste collection vehicles, to now funding the purchases of the new 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.

Nagoya assured everyone there will not be any change to the collection schedule and no extra utility fees

“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 number of compostable or paper bags and bundles of branches or brushes 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. This includes organic waste placed at the curb in bags, bunches, or in non-City-supplied collection bins.

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.

The City of Cold Lake organics stickers will no longer be needed as everyone can identify the new bins by their new green lids.

Nagoya says the new carts will be delivered to homes this spring.

“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.

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