Surrey rolls out a new waste collection program

This week the City of Surrey launched its “Rethink Waste” program whit the goal of reducing the amount of non organic waste hitting our landfills. The program is a full rethink of the way Surrey handles its waste, new city supplied garbage bins, new pick up schedules and new truck which run on natural gas instead of diesel fuel. So how did it go? I’ll give you one man’s perspective. I live in a townhouse in the Fleetwood area of Surrey. I have a wife and 2 and a half year old daughter, nothing out of the ordinary demographically speaking.

When the program was announced residents were instructed to order there new garbage bins online, one for organic waste, one for recyclables and one for regular old garbage. The website recommended what size bins would be appropriate for your family needs and as such I ordered something fairly close to the recommendation. I was told I would need a 120L organic bin, a 240L recycling bin and a 180L garbage bin based on my type of dwelling. I chose to up the garbage bin to 240L because my daughter isn’t potty trained yet. The organic waste cart will get very little use in this house other than pizza boxes. I have a garbage disposal in my sink and quite frankly I don’t want a kitchen full of flies. I also don’t want to have to buy the special bags to use with the small kitchen container they’ve provided for organics.

The organic bins are picked up weekly and the recyclables and garbage are picked up every two weeks on an alternating schedule. I think my 240L bins will be big enough for two weeks worth of stuff but if they aren’t I’ll have an opportunity to exchange them. The bins were dropped off roughly a week before we could use them and I actually had bins dropped off in my driveway 3 times… That’s 9 bins. I took the ones I ordered and before I could call the city the extras had disappeared in the garages of my neighbours.

The fist pick up day was fairly amusing as almost all of my neighbours, as well most of the rest of Surrey, put out all three of their bins. It amazes me how many people don’t read simple instructions. I saw a lot of overfilled bins which will not be picked up and most of them were still sitting on the curbs days later as their clueless owners waited for the garbage men to return. Oh well, I’m sure everyone will figure it out in time.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new system or how you think it compares to other programs around the GVRD.

Scott.

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