The Newfoundland and Labrador city of St. John’s has plans to roll out the first phase of automated curbside waste collection for one-third of city residents this June 11.
The practice of using a robotic arm to pick up waste bins curbside is being implemented to avoid animals tearing up plastic bags in problem areas. The automated practice is also generally considered safer for waste personnel.
Carts and information about storage, use, and maintenance will be delivered to homes in phase one during May.
“Staff have reviewed all waste collection routes to determine what areas will be included in this phase,” said Mayor Danny Breen in a statement. “We want to learn as much as possible during the beginning, so we have included a variety of neighbourhood configurations and areas where we see a high rate of litter caused by birds and other animals tearing bags open.”
“Automated garbage will allow us to improve the efficiency and safety of staff while also reducing the amount of litter on our streets,” said Councillor Ian Froude, lead of Public Works. “Making this transition provides an ideal opportunity for residents to re-think their waste reduction habits and improve recycling.”
Residents are reminded that the carts are for waste only. Recycling and paper yard waste bags do not go in the carts.
One cart will be provided to every household in phase one (including apartments) free of charge. Carts will be tagged and belong to the property, not the property owner; if a resident moves they will leave their cart behind. Once received, residents are encouraged to make note of the serial number on their cart for future reference.
In 2017 the City held extensive public engagement regarding automated waste, including consultation with seniors and representatives of the City’s Accessibility and Inclusion Advisory Committee. Individuals with mobility limitations can apply for an exemption to the program.