Local Journalism Initiative
Despite some concerns, residents of East Hardisty are prepared to try out their new garbage bins.
Emdad Haque, director of infrastructure services for the Town of Hinton, said that by March 17 all 422 older bins in the neighbourhood will be replaced with the new, smaller, but more durable ones.
Around 30 residents attended the East Hardisty Waste Pilot open house on March 5, which followed a day of door knocking by Town staff to answer questions from residents.
The Town stated the pilot will bring a new, safer, more efficient and better looking garbage system for a potential wider community roll out in the future.
Some residents at the open house raised their concerns about the wind knocking over bins, the size of the bins, and in some cases about how to manage getting the bin to the street on pick-up day.
Bonnie Christians, who lives down-wind from her neighbours in East Hardisty, said she’s already picking up garbage from others as the wind tips over current bins.
“Who’s going to be picking up the garbage when they tip over? They’re a lot more top heavy now,” she stated.
Christians is also worried about how her elderly mother will manage pushing her bin to the front of the house, across the lawn, around cars, sometimes through snow, and onto the street.
A program was in place in the past to help residents move their bins, explained Josh Yaworski, TOH communications coordinator, and this program could be utilized again.
Yaworski said anyone having difficulties with the new system should contact the Town to make some type of arrangement. The area Christians’ mother lives in currently has multi-family blue bins in the back alley, but the single bins will be picked up in the front instead.
“That’s partially a safety issue because moving the large bins in the back alley can come into contact with overhead power,” stated Yaworski.
The narrow power lines in the area are a challenge not just for garbage pickup but also for snow removal.
“The pilot knows it’s going to be a variable we need to test out, we need to get feedback about, and we need to find a way to work,” said Yaworski.
The multi-family bins are a problem in multiple ways as they also attract illegal dumping, he added. People from different areas dump large items that fit in the blue bins like furniture and TVs.
East Hardisty resident Phyllis McLellan stated that anything is better than what she currently has, which is a bin with a hole in the bottom. She also isn’t worried about the 20 per cent size reduction of the bin.
“I’m by myself so I don’t have very much garbage, I never put my bin out for three weeks because there’s nothing in it,” she said.
McLellan won’t have to drag the bin through the snow to the curb either as she has the option of placing the bin on her driveway.
Even though there are pros and cons to the new system, most residents at the town hall agreed that a replacement is necessary.
“These are worn out and we need new ones. They need to be replaced. It’s not ideal but I don’t know what would be,” said another resident.
The biggest advantage with the new bins is having 12-year warranty, easier pick up, and RID tags for future potential expansion, according to Kevin Misurski, TOH infrastructure supervisor. The bins are also made of composite plastic, which is more durable, he explained.
The low cost of the new bins makes it possible for a two-bin system with garbage and recycling, Misurski added.
The new bins cost $73 per bin compared to $530 per old bin.
One common question asked during doorknocking was about having more than one garbage bin.
“I heard comments about looking down the street and seeing bins already overflowing and these bins are 20 per cent smaller, and what do I do with excess garbage? That is an option giving them a second bin, they would pay a double fee for their garbage pickup,” he said.
Haque explained that condo and apartment buildings have to decide which system they prefer, and could be treated as commercial customers using larger bins.
One garbage truck is currently being customized to add a bin grabber for the new bins for less than $15,000, Haque said. Operators of the garbage truck will then be trained before their first pick up in East Hardisty on March 24.
Haque added that after the pilot runs for three months, the findings will be assessed and brought to council. Once council makes a decision, other neighbourhoods could be getting the new bins as well.
Visit Hinton.ca/Bins to find out more about the pilot program.