North Vancouver and West Vancouver have some of the tightest regulations around waste collection, only allowing a short window of time first thing in the morning when bins can be placed on the curb – and for good reason.
The North Shore is home to a variety of critters, big and small, including black bears who love to feast on the contents of trash bins. Think Yogi Bear, but instead of picnic baskets, it’s your garbage, and instead of fun-loving antics, pork pie hats and bow-ties, it’s endangering both you and the animal.
“Unfortunately, not only do the bears cause a mess, they become accustomed to that food source and get put down,” co-founder of BinMates, Ciarán Boyle, says.
In an effort to live safely with the area’s wildlife, especially black bears, waste bins can only be placed on the curb early in the morning on garbage day to minimize the length of time bins are outside as a potential temptation for bears.
But what happens if you can’t get the trash out during those wee hours of the morning? Luckily, that’s where BinMates comes in.
BinMates takes the hassle out of garbage day by ensuring your bins are taken out to the curb on time.
“We’ve had a different range of customers, including people with mobility issues, seniors, people who have steep driveways, and people who don’t want to worry about the headache of having bins out on time. Sometimes people just want to sleep in,” Boyle explains.
“Since we started, we’ve also gotten interest from rental property owners.”
BinMates offers three services, the most popular of which is the weekly roll-out. “We come to your property every week on your garbage day and roll your bins to the curb,” Boyle continues.
The bi-weekly service is ideal for households that create less waste, such as seniors and people who travel frequently. It’s also a convenient solution for the District of West Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver, which only collect trash bi-weekly.
Both the weekly and bi-weekly services are available for a low monthly fee, and BinMates also offers a one-time roll-out for those unable to get the trash out on garbage day for any reason.
To celebrate the launch of the service, BinMates is offering a special promotion. Early birds who sign up for weekly or bi-weekly service by September of this year will receive one free roll-out.
Currently, the service only covers bin roll-out and is available to single family homes.
“We’re helping residents with the issue in the morning. When the bins are empty, it’s much easier to take them back in,” Boyle says. “We’re hoping that as the company grows, it’s a service that can be added in the future.”
The inspiration for BinMates came from the desire to help both North Shore residents and local wildlife.The tight restrictions on cart set-out times can be challenging for residents to manage.
Bins placed on the curb outside the allotted hours can result in a ticket from a bylaw officer. However, Boyle and his co-founder want to encourage proactive measures rather than reactive punishments.
Boyle and his co-founder decided to fill a crucial need in the community. “There was no business doing this on the North Shore,” he says. “We reached out to our community and found that people were really interested.”
The launch of BinMates has already struck a chord with customers.
“Our customers have been advocating for us, and we are so pleased every time someone recommends us to their friends or family. It means we’re doing something right.”
To learn more and sign up for hassle-free garbage days, visit binmates.ca.