New garbage and organics carts in 2017

This year, we will be providing free carts with wheels and locking lids — one for garbage and one for organic waste (food scraps and yard trimmings) — to every home in the District that receives residential garbage collection.

By moving to these standardized carts, we can:

  • Improve worker health and safety — the new carts don't require manual lifting
  • Make garbage less accessible to animals — the new carts have lids that lock
  • Reduce the amount of waste we generate —  there are financial incentives for choosing smaller carts

Your new carts at a glance

  1. Your two free carts will be delivered in 2017 (we'll announce exact dates once they're available)
  2. Start using your carts as soon as you receive them
  3. Use your new carts for four weeks, to decide if the size you received is right for you
  4. Following the mandatory four-week trial, let us know if you would like a different size, and you can trade them in

There is no cost to you for the new carts, no changes to your collection schedule, and you can continue to dispose of the same materials that you do now.

Take a closer look

Your new carts will come with a printed guide that explains everything you'll need to know to use them properly, or you can start by reviewing this FAQ section, which explains many of the details.

Questions about the carts

Q. When will I receive my new carts?

We will begin delivering carts in Zone 1 in early 2017.

Once Zone 1 residents have had time to decide if they need to exchange their carts, we will begin a phased delivery of carts to the remaining zones in the District.

By starting with Zone 1, we will be able to increase efficiencies and work out any operational challenges before we deliver carts to the rest of the District.

We expect all carts to be delivered in 2017.

Q. When will you start collecting the new carts?

We will begin collecting the new carts right after we deliver them.

There will be no changes to your regular collection schedule, so please start using your new carts to bring your garbage and organics to the curb as soon as you receive them. 

Q. How big will the carts be?

To make delivery of the carts as efficient and cost-effective as possible, we have pre-selected the size of the cart everyone will receive. In selecting your cart size, we followed regional best practices.

  Size of carts (you get 2) Maximum amount you can put in your carts
Single family homes 240 litres 100kg
Townhomes 140 litres 55kg

We selected a smaller cart for townhomes, based on feedback from our operations crew about how much materials they typically collect from townhomes. We also studied the experiences of other municipalities.

Q. How do I get a different sized cart, and is there a cost?

You will have the opportunity to exchange your cart for a different size, and your curbside garbage utility fee will be adjusted accordingly. 

Start by using the cart we initially provide for a minimum of four weeks. This will give you a chance to adjust to the new size and evaluate if it’s right for you.

You may, however, want to try your cart over several months to make sure the capacity is consistently right, as your requirements can change depending on the season, holidays, and so on. 

Remember, too, that capacity issues can often be resolved by separating your organics and recyclables into their proper containers.

Savings from having smaller carts will not take effect until you receive your 2018 Property Tax notice, so you will not lose the opportunity to save money as a result of this mandatory trial period.

If, following the mandatory four-week trial period, you wish to change cart size, you can fill in a form online, call us, or come to District Hall.

The $50 cart exchange administration fee (per cart) will be waived, provided you make your request within one month of the end of your trial period.

Garbage cart options for single family homes

*Approximate cost per year. These details are subject to change, and will be finalized in 2018.

 

Organics cart options for single family homes

*Approximate cost per year. These details are subject to change, and will be finalized in 2018.

 

Garbage cart options for townhouses

*Approximate cost per year. These details are subject to change, and will be finalized in 2018.

 

Organics cart options for townhouses

*Approximate cost per year. These details are subject to change, and will be finalized in 2018.

Q. What if the smaller (140 litre) cart is still too big for me?

We are not offering carts smaller than 140 litres. However, you do not need to fill your cart to capacity before putting it out for collection.

There may also be certain times of the year when you use the extra capacity.

Q. Can I request a smaller cart before the carts are delivered?

With over 20,000 homes and 40,000 carts to manage and deliver, we believe the most efficient and cost-effective approach is to deliver standard-sized carts to everyone.  This approach is also in line with the experiences of other municipalities.

Our ability to administer cart exchanges will improve once all of the carts have been delivered.

Q. What should I do with my old plastic and metal garbage and recycling containers?

We will be offering an opportunity for you to recycle any garbage or green cans that you do not wish to keep. 

Alternatively, you may want to use your old cans to store excess yard trimmings or household items, or as an emergency preparedness kit.

Questions about the cart replacement program

Q. Why are you replacing all of the carts, District-wide?

In the fall of 2015, Council directed us to improve our system for collecting garbage and organics by providing standardized locking, wheeled carts to all District residents.

There are several benefits to moving to standardized carts:

  • Improve worker health and safety ― the new carts do not require manual lifting
  • Make garbage less accessible to animals ― the new carts have locking lids
  • Encourage residents to reduce waste ― there are financial incentives for choosing smaller carts

Many municipalities in the Lower Mainland have achieved similar goals by moving to standardized garbage and organics carts.

Q. How is the cart replacement program being funded?

The carts are being funded through a long term capital plan.

The budget is funded through the Solid Waste and Recycling Reserve, and is included in the 2016-2020 Financial Plan. We expect the budget to cover both initial and ongoing costs, with cart life estimated at 15 - 20 years.

There will be no additional cost for residents, though you will continue to pay your solid waste utility.

Questions about garbage and organics limits

Q. Can I put out extra bags of garbage if I have more than will fit in my cart?

No, the limit for garbage is based on the current cart program.

The carts have more capacity than the previous limits for garbage. We anticipate this extra space will be enough to accommodate the requirements for residents who occasionally put out extra garbage. 

The North Shore Transfer Station accepts additional residential garbage for a minimum fee. 

Q. What if I sometimes have more organics than I can fit into my cart?

You can use your old containers to store leaves or extra yard waste in the spring and fall, and continue to fill your cart each week with the stored organics (but remember you can't put your old containers out for collection).

The North Shore Transfer Station also accepts additional yard trimmings and small quantities of residential food scraps in their Green Waste area for a minimum fee.

If you consistently have more organics than a 240 litre cart will hold, you can request to have up to an additional two organics cart, for a fee.

Continue to place your food scraps at the curb for collection every week. Keeping them longer than one week may create unnecessary odors and mess and may attract wildlife.