JILLIAN AUSTIN/BRANDON SUN
An elderly woman living in Brandon’s east end put this sign on her lawn in hopes garbage collection will revert back to lane pickup.
A shift from back lane to front street garbage pick up in Brandon’s east end has left at least one elderly resident in a bind.
The 89-year-old woman, who lives on Lorne Avenue East, recently put out a makeshift sign on her lilac bush in hopes the garbage operator would pick up her bins in the back lane.
"How can I possibly move a big garbage tin in the winter time, or even summer?" asked the woman, who didn’t want her name printed. "I walk around with a cane … It’s impossible, I can’t and I’m not going to pay somebody."
It’s a much farther walk to bring the bins from where they are kept at the back of her property to the front, plus she has to navigate down a few steps.
The sign worked, as the garbage was picked up in the lane the following day. However, the woman says the issue has been causing stress and frustration over the past few months.
Residents living on the 900-block of Lorne Avenue East received a notice in the spring that as of May 23, garbage and recycling pickup would be moved to the front, instead of the back lane.
Ian Broome, the city’s director of public works, said the lane on the block in question is quite narrow and there have been issues with getting the new trucks through, especially when vegetation is growing out of control.
"Our trucks aren’t any wider, but they are higher so we have to make sure that everything overhead is not going to get caught," he said. "We don’t want to start pulling down lines, we don’t want to start rubbing trees and damaging trucks because that is the operator’s responsibility."
Broome said they are currently reviewing the issue.
"Right now, we’re picking one up in the lane and the rest are front street … Either way, they’re still getting their garbage picked up," he said. "It’s just until we can come to a perfect solution for everybody. It’s kind of a grey area right now how we’re going to continue on."
Broome said the city offers a service to set out and set back garbage and recycling containers, which are for the elderly or others unable to move the bins themselves. Broome noted it’s free of charge, and all you need is a doctor’s note.
Coun. Len Isleifson (Riverview) has been in touch with people on the block, and says he hopes the sanitation department can revert back to the back lane pickup.
"It’s doable, it’s just a matter that we need to get everyone’s co-operation on that block to make sure they keep their hedges trimmed back and things like that so the truck can make it down there," he said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 28, 2013