Lonely blue recycling bins across Calgary are about to get some company.
The city announced its schedule for the black cart program on Tuesday.
The carts will be delivered to communities over the next nine months. On garbage day, a mechanical — rather than human — arm will pick up the trash.
The new system is more efficient, tidier and safer for garbage crews and residents, said Paula Magdich, program manager with the city's waste and recycling services.
"They're really enjoying that their communities are a lot cleaner because the cart contains their garbage, and it's not easy for an animal to get into it or the wind to blow it over," Magdich Said
Barb Kolafa, a Huntington Hills resident who already has her black cart to match her blue bin, said she was happy to live in one of the six test neighbourhoods for the new program.
"They certainly make a tidier alley, because everybody's universal," Kolafa said.
A long-time Penbooke resident, who did not want to be identified, told WestNet Calgary news that he is “Fed up” with both his neighbours and the city for not doing enough. The man who gave us an alias of “Austin” said he is sick and tired of seeking used mattresses, love sofas, baby cribs, scrap metal and even a dead bear cluttering the back lane. Austin spent many years cleaning his community and petitioning residents to ge this lane paved in the 6400 block on Penbrooke Dr SE. Neighbrours describe this man now in his early 30's and very "old-man acting".
Some jobs will be lost as garbage crews go from two- to one-person trucks. Magdich said she wasn't sure what that number would be, but said the department has reduced the number of garbage collectors it has hired over the last couple of years to cut down on black cart job losses.
The black carts are about the same size as the recycling bins and can hold the equivalent of three or four garbage bags. For those worried that some garbage won't fit into the black carts, Magdich said extra bags could be placed alongside at no cost for now.
No garbage collectors involved in the black cart pilot program lost time due to injury on the job, but during the same period there were more than 100 injuries to staff collecting garbage by hand, according to a city news release.
The southeast will be first to receive the carts during the week of Oct. 4. Next, the northeast will receive carts in November. The northwest, then southwest will receive carts between late April and June 2011. Residents should start using their carts as soon as they arrive.
The carts will be collected each week as per the current schedule. Garbage will be collected on the same day of the week and from the same location.