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New waste carts come on stream

The city has begun its new waste-cart collection system. An estimated 7,500 homes are now putting their new plastic garbage bins on the curb this week for the first time, with another 7,500 switching over next week.
“Initial feedback on the program has been positive,” said city manager of integrated services with Solid Waste Resources Heather Connell, saying little about any problems encountered. She noted that the first voicemail message that greeted her Monday morning was a compliment on how smoothly the system worked.
Among the positives, “collection staff are on time and service levels have been met. Collection staff have noted that residents are continuing to sort the contents inside the carts well,” said Connell in an email to the Tribune.
But as with any new system, a few issues are to be expected at the beginning.
Anticipating those issues, education staff are being sent out ahead of trucks to help ensure carts are set out properly.
“If there are any issues, they will leave a cart tag just to remind the residents how to set out the carts,” said Connell.
Some of the issues encountered included carts set out with insufficient space between them and other carts or objects, and carts set in front of one another, rather than side by side, she said.
A drive through the city would suggest that some residents are also uncertain which bins to put out. Blue bins were on some curbs, but those starting on the system this week were to put out their grey and green bins only, with their blue and green to go out next week.
Residents starting collection the week of Nov. 12 – week B households, said Connell – will be setting out their green and grey cart and alternate the following week with their green and blue cart.
These two groups represent about one third of Guelph households. They are the first homes to move to the new automated waste-collection system as part of a three-year phase-in.
Connell offered the following list of tips for residents who are starting to use the new bins:
• The city is asking residents to place  their carts so the automatic arm can collect the cart. This includes allowing one arm’s length clearance on all sides of each cart. This clearance includes separation between carts placed beside each other and separation from fences, retaining walls, light standards, etc.
• Residents can place their carts in the mouth of the driveway on opposite sides such that parked cars do not interfere with collection.
• Residents are asked to ensure the latch is open on the green cart. The green cart can be lined with any type of paper bags or liners, but no plastic bags.
• Recycling material is to be placed loose in the blue cart, not inside a plastic bag. Shredded paper is the one exception and can be placed inside a transparent blue bag and placed inside the blue cart.
• Residents are asked to not overfill the carts, so the contents do not spill when tipping.
For more information call Solid Waste Resources at 519-767-0598.

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