By Lyonel Doherty
The automated cart system for garbage, recycling and yard waste is an efficient program, but whether Oliver needs it is highly debatable.
Some people say don’t fix what’s not broken, which is a great argument here.
Others say the town needs to change with the times.
There are pros and cons to the automated system.
It reduces workplace injuries (and claims) because drivers don’t have to lift the bins anymore.
The bins are on wheels, meaning you don’t have to carry them to the curb.
Residents don’t have to buy anymore blue recycling bags or yard waste bags.
It costs more money (user fees go up $5 a year in Oliver, plus thousands of dollars for the carts).
The three carts take up a lot of room.
Some residents, especially seniors, may find it difficult moving the carts, particularly up and down steep driveways.
The cart program works well in Penticton, where residents have grown accustomed to it. The truck drivers don’t have to touch the carts and don’t have to worry about aching backs or pulled muscles at the end of the day. No more A535 rub, either.
Although some people may not welcome the automated cart system, it may soon become mandated as far as workplace safety goes.
We just hope the company who holds the contract will recognize that some seniors won’t be able to handle these large bins. The fact is some seniors only produce a small bag of garbage each week and don’t have the strength to manhandle one cart, let alone three.
Speaking of recycling, contamination is an ongoing issue in the regional district. By weight, non-acceptable materials make up approximately eight to 15 per cent of the recycling that is collected.
If you’re caught by a driver placing out inappropriate materials, they will not empty your bin.
Regional officials are consistently seeing the same wrong materials being placed in bins. For example, soft plastics such as bags, pouches and sacs are banned because they tend to wrap around machinery used to recycle the appropriate items. Remember, soft plastics can be taken to local recycling depots.
Durable plastics such as coat hangers, Tupperware, toys and tarps are also not acceptable for regular recycling.
Other contaminates include food waste, paper towels and batteries. Light bulbs and batteries are accepted at recycling depots, not in your curbside pickup program.
Also, items meant for recycling should not be nested inside each other, but rather loose for easier sorting.
There, now you can be a better recycler and do a bigger favour for the environment.