The question of whether to put blue or black carts out was a head-scratcher for many Red Deerians in the first week of the new three-cart waste pick-up system.
Residents who either put the wrong coloured cart out alongside their green cart, who mistakenly put all three carts out, or who lined them up too close to the fence line were in good company.
Janet Whitesell, waste management superintendent for the City of Red Deer, said about 10 per cent of households got some kind of corrective notice left by the company that picks up wastes during the first week of the three-cart pick-up system.
She said these educational notices explained why some garbage could not be taken away — such as because carts need to be left at least a metre away from fences so they can be properly handled by the mechanical arms of waste pick up trucks.
Although a few people had clearly not understood the new collection system — putting their blue box out instead of the blue cart, for example — she thought last week went reasonably well, considering that a few hiccups were expected.
“With going to the every other week of pick up (for landfilled wastes and recyclables) … we knew folks would need some more supports during the transition.”
Waste schedules had been delivered to households along with new black and blue carts this spring, informing residents which carts should be left out on each garbage day.
Whitesell said a few neighbourhoods got the wrong calendar, and this had to be sorted out.
Although organic green carts can be put out every week, the black carts (for landfilled wastes) and the blue carts (for recyclables) go out every other week, alternating according to a schedule that is also available online at reddeer.ca/carts.
Whitesell said residents can now plug their addresses into the website and get a printable schedule. A visual clue is watching to see which carts other neighbours are putting out.
Having the only blue cart in the alley, among a lineup of otherwise black carts, is probably a sign of being out of step, she added.
Whitesell’s department has been fielding questions from the public, including what happens if you want to trade a cart for a larger or smaller-sized one.
Residents are advised to keep using their current carts until September. If they still want to trade, the city will be more ready to consider requests at that time.
Other Red Deerians have wondered where to keep three carts in small yards. Whitesell said city staff can make some suggestions over the phone, or can also make site visits.