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Few glitches in Coquitlam's new garbage system

Now in its second week, the new garbage system in Coquitlam has been running smoothly, city staff say. - FILE PHOTO/TRI-CITY NEWS
Now in its second week, the new garbage system in Coquitlam has been running smoothly, city staff say.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO/TRI-CITY NEWS

One week into Coquitlam's new garbage collection service and it's "so far, so good" according to city staff.

"First off, there was lots of changes, and all at once, so we're very thrilled residents took the time to look at the information provided and try to sort out what's what and how the new system works," said Tracy Kyle, the city's acting manager of environmental services. "That's helped tremendously in the first week and going into the second week."

The new garbage, recycling and green waste pick-up started on July 2, with changes that included new zones and routes, new recycling rules and a shift from weekly to bi-weekly garbage pick-up.

Kyle said that so far, the biggest problem has been residents forgetting to unclip the wildlife locks on their green waste carts — receptacles for yard and kitchen waste — so they can be emptied by the automated trucks.

While residents get up to speed on the new system, Kyle said, drivers are getting out to unclip carts and leaving a reminder card behind.

"As with all new programs, it will take time to figure out what's what and what goes where," Kyle said. "So we're being accommodating in the first few weeks. We just want people to get their carts out to the road."

The engineering department has been fielding about 300 calls per day on its hotline, mainly from residents asking about the collection schedule and what materials are accepted in each cart.

Many residents are also calling to ask why their garbage still hasn't been picked up by late in the afternoon.

Because drivers are hopping out of the trucks to unclip carts for now, some routes are taking much longer to service, Kyle said, recommending leaving carts out until about 8 p.m.

"We're letting people know to keep their bins out later because the routes are taking longer and drivers may be doing them in a different order," she said. "Wait a few weeks and you'll get to know the cycle."

Eight electronic reader boards have been placed throughout the city since June 23 to remind residents about the new garbage system. Most of the boards are expected to be removed this week.

The engineering hotline (604-927-3500) will continue to operate from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. this week to answer residents' questions. The hotline will be available until the end of the month but with shortened hours (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

Residents are reminded to place their carts at the curb, one metre apart from each other and with the arrows pointing towards the road, between 5:30 and 7:30 a.m. on collection day.

• Visit coquitlam.ca/trashtalk for more information on the new garbage system.

spayne@tricitynews.com

 

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