It’s getting harder and harder for the city to purchase the kind of garbage truck we’re used to. That’s the kind that’s manned by some one who hops off and grabs your cans and bags from the curbside. More and more cities are going to automated vehicles that also mean you have to have specialized containers at the side of the road.
That realization hit members of council’s utilities committee Friday. Edmonton is slowly moving to what many other cities use, and what normally rolls off the production line. But it also means you’ll have to have specialized carts at your home, and you could wind up doing more recycling separation, with plastics going here, and paper there, and unused food somewhere else.
“That’s kind of become the industry standard so our manual trucks are becoming more of a specialty,” confirmed Trent Thompkins the director of waste collection for the city. “They end up slowing down the purchase process, because they do have to come off the line for modification for a drop frame for instance.”
Can’t trade them in either. The style of trucks we have are like tube TV’s.
“The end of life standpoint, there’s usually no other use for them now. You can’t really auction them off or get any value.”
It’ll be a few years before the change over happens. Edmonton is in the pre-planning phase right now. Public consultation and fact finding is all they’re at, at this point.
“We’re just looking at it as gaining information and looking at the options that are out there,” Thompkins said. “The decision on something like this will come from residents, Edmontonians as we look to our long term strategic plan and then look and see if this is a piece of that.”
“Do they want the carts at all? Do they like the current system? Do they see the opportunity to change to help us get to ninety percent diversion?”
Thompkins said they can’t move quickly either because of their work with three private sector partners, Waste Management, Progressive Waste, and GFL, that cover half of the city, so they’ll need the time to modernize their fleet and systems as well.
“That’s sort of the pieces where we can’t just jump out and say we’re doing it now. We do have to work through all of those steps.”
A fuller report will go to council in the fall. Thompkins expects it’ll be 2018 before any decisions are made.