TIM SMITH / BRANDON SUN FILE
Garbage and recycling bins in back lanes will be more tightly regulated, under a new city bylaw.
Garbage collection services could move to a four-day pickup cycle and residents will have to move their bins out of their back lanes if Brandon’s solid waste bylaw is changed.
City council approved on Monday the first of three readings required to turn these changes into law.
"The biggest change is ensuring the bins are out of the lanes," said Ian Broome, the city’s public works director.
"Esthetically, we’ll look a lot better and efficiency wise, we’ll do a lot better. We won’t be picking up empty containers as we have found there are 30 to 40 per cent of the containers that don’t have to be picked up. In some cases, it’s as high as 50 per cent."
The new bylaw will force those with back lane garbage service to remove their bins from the lanes within 24 hours of their garbage pickup and store them on their own property.
Those who don’t comply with the law will be responsible for all the issues that causes and for any damage to the bins that result. Fees will also be charged for recycling bins that are contaminated with regular garbage.
The increased efficiency will also enable sanitation staff to pick up garbage on a standardized four-day cycle from Tuesday to Friday.
Garbage would also occasionally be picked up on either a Monday or a Saturday, to accommodate statutory holidays city staff are prohibited from working, such as Remembrance Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
"I think to help with the back lanes, going to a four-day cycle is going to be huge because people will know it will either be a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday pickup," Broome said. "In order to make this work, this helps homeowners too, I feel."
Broome said it is possible these changes could take effect as early as October, and there will be a blitz of information released about the new plan before it takes effect.
Councillors had some questions about the new plan, such as whether seniors who are unable to move their bins themselves would be fined.
Broome said there are provisions in the law that assist seniors. If they secure a doctor’s note and fill out the appropriate paperwork with the department of public works, city staff will move their bins instead.
Garbage collection rules will also crack down on those who overfill their bins, as sometimes garbage bags will fall out on to the lane while they are being hoisted for disposal. Broome said those bins will not be emptied under the new bylaw.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 12, 2012