COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Jonathan Sparrow runs a business in Brandon handling the many garbage and recycling bins the city distributed several years ago. The venture is threatened by new, larger bins that will now be used at apartment complexes in the city.
Apartment complexes with seven or more units have begun the transition from multiple garbage/recycling carts to using a large dumpster.
Overland Waste & Recycling was awarded the contract by the City of Brandon, and started delivering the new bins this week.
"It’s probably going to take a few weeks to transition because we’re also retrieving our carts," public works director Ian Broome said.
The city will be picking up about 2,200 carts, which will be reused in the green cart program.
Since the garbage/recycling carts were introduced in Brandon five years ago, there have been recurring problems at multiple-family complexes. Not enough space for the line of carts, difficulty manoeuvring the bins, as well as unnecessary pickup of empty carts.
"It was a large debate. This has been going on for a couple years," Broome said. "We made a recommendation to council … and went forward with it."
While it may be a welcome change to some apartment owners, one local business owner is not happy.
"With this system being rolled out, we’ll lose about 70 per cent of our commercial customers," said Jonathan Sparrow, owner of Curbside Brandon. "Now it’s going to take us a little time to come back from this. It’s a big hit for us."
The company, which provides a service of moving carts to and from the lane/curb for clients, launched in Brandon about a year and a half ago. Curbside Brandon provides the service to both residential and commercial clients.
Sparrow said he is disappointed the city didn’t consult with the company or give them official notice prior to the change.
"I didn’t know about it until (Tuesday) that they were changing," he said. "There were rumours about it changing, but there was no exact date, no official announcement ... which would have been nice, so we could have planned for the winter a little better."
Curbside Brandon’s business will continue as is for its residential clients, as well as for complexes with less than seven residential units.
"It’s unfortunate that the city didn’t think about how it could affect businesses that do rely on things like that in the city," he said.
However, Broome said that while the business wasn’t personally notified of a timeline, they did discuss the idea, letting them know it was an option the city was looking at.
"We started working on this probably two or three years ago," Broome said, adding the larger bins are being reintroduced for convenience and efficiency.
"For years my argument has been, we’re picking up an awful lot of empty bins that don’t have to be dumped. We try to run a department as efficient as we can, we try to look at ways to save money."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 24, 2013