Abbotsford residents will get new wheeled carts in the new year as the city shifts to a new waste program.
Last year, council approved changes to its curbside collection program that will see new, fully-automated trucks used to pick up residents’ trash, recycling and compost.
Now the city has announced that new wheeled carts will be provided beginning next February. Each resident will get three 240-litre carts: one each for recycling, compostables and garbage. Residents will be expected to start using the carts on April 19.
After 90 days, users will be able to ask to convert to 360-litre carts or smaller 120-litre carts, depending on their needs.
The city says more information on exchanging carts will be provided in the coming months. There will also be changes to when, and how often, waste gets picked up. Compostables will be collected every week, while trash and recyclables will be collected every other week, on alternating weeks.
The new city-owned trucks will be powered by renewable diesel, not compressed natural gas (CNG) as the city hoped last year. CNG trucks would have been about $145,000 more expensive, per truck, than those powered by renewable diesel. Electric trucks would have added another $10,000 to the cost. But a city comparison found that renewable diesel would cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 80 per cent, compared to typical diesel. It also found that such trucks would produce one-quarter the emissions of compressed natural gas.
Renewable diesel is chemically similar to conventional diesel, but is produced from fats, vegetable oils and greases. Unlike biodiesel, it doesn’t need to be blended with traditional diesel.
“Considering life cycle costs and GHG emissions reductions, the purchase of new diesel trucks that will be powered by renewable diesel offers a reasonable interim solution until electric refuse truck technology matures,” staff wrote in a report to council. Earlier this year, the city signed off on the purchase of six such trucks, for a combined cost of about $2.4 million. Those trucks will be used for collection on the west side of Abbotsford.
The city uses a private contractor to collect waste in east Abbotsford, and that business has opted for CNG.
In a release, residents were urged to download its curbside collection app. It also says it is also looking at options for glass and large item collection.
The city has answered a number of other questions about the process and use of bins on its consultation website, at letstalkabbotsford.ca/curbside2020.
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