Trash talk was on the agenda at Lacombe city council this week.
About 70 residents crammed council chambers to voice their opposition to a plan to replace large back alley communal garbage bins with smaller household roll-out models.
Under the city’s new Solid Waste Roadmap, a pilot project was proposed to replace 60 of the bins with 240 roll-out versions. Replacing all of the city’s roughly 600 bins with roll-outs was expected to take about 10 years, and when complete was estimated to add another $3.30 to monthly utility bills.
Some of those opposed argued that the roll-out bins would be inconvenient, costly, difficult to manoeuvre in winter conditions, and could prove a nuisance for seniors.
Council voted unanimously to revisit the garbage issue and gave staff two weeks to come back with a public consultation plan.
In a news release, Mayor Steve Christie calls the attendance an example of “democracy in action.
“Council has been elected to make the best possible decision based on sound information and a transparent public consultation process, and we look to move forward on this issue with these principles in mind.”
Matthew Goudy, the city’s engineer, said about 70 per cent of the community is served by the large dumpsters and the rest already use roll-out bins.
Dumpsters have not been without their problems.
“We find a lot of people abuse them,” said Goudy. “They drop off couches, they drop off barbecues and mowers and all sorts of stuff,” he said, adding a boa constrictor, deer carcasses and engine blocks to the list.
Roll-out bins encourage people to be more responsible about what they put in the trash, which also reduces volumes.
The road map also proposed roadside recycling, introducing a compost system, and changing the way the Lacombe Regional Solid Waste Commission charges the city for garbage among other initiatives.
Goudy said the entire garbage plan is on hold for now until more public feedback is received and a revised plan, if required, is presented to council.