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New locking garbage carts to roll out in DNV

Bins meant to dissuade bears and encourage waste reduction

Let there be lock (and roll).

The District of North Vancouver is about to begin a new system of garbage collection using carts with locking lids and wheels to roll to the curb.

Residents in single-family homes in Zone 1 (the Capilano corridor) will receive two 240-litre carts in February – one for garbage and one for organics. Townhouse owners will receive 140-litre carts.

Because of the cart’s wheels, it should make taking the trash out less of a chore, the district says. And while the locking lids may not be 100 per cent bear proof, it will take something smarter than the average bear to break in, according to Len Jensen, the district’s manager of public works.

“There are videos of bears jumping up and down on them. They’re pretty good and they certainly dissuade most interaction,” he said. “They’re pretty tight.”

On pickup day, crews will come around for the organics first to minimize the time food waste sits enticing animals, Jensen said. The new system was developed in consultation with the North Shore Black Bear Society.

“(They) have actually been pretty supportive and have actually been advocates for locking cans for a number of years,” he said.

The cost for the new system has been included in the annual utility rates that residents have been paying over recent years and collection fees will stay the same over 2017. Households will have the option of either adding more carts, if needed, for an annual fee, or switching to a smaller cart for a reduction in their annual utilities fee.

“We can start encouraging reduction without forcing people with hard limits. If someone has a larger family and just can’t go to smaller containers, they can have a little bit larger container and they pay a little bit more. It’s a bit of a blended system,” Jensen said.

The district will no longer be collecting yard waste bags. The district is asking families to use the carts they’ve been assigned for one month before deciding whether to change to a smaller or larger cart. The change can be done for free as long as it’s within the first 30 days after the trial period, Jensen said.

“What we’d ask people to do is just give it a try and work with it to see how it works for them. We’re confident it will work for most people,” Jensen said.

Old garbage and organics containers that residents don’t want to keep will be collected for free. This one-time collection event will happen on a zone-by-zone basis, and residents will simply leave their unwanted cans at the end of their driveways.

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