The County's new waste collections contract is set to commence November 2021. The service method of this new contract will be automated cart collection, continuing to utilize every other week collection of garbage and recycling on offsetting weeks with weekly green bin pick-ups. While the collection frequency will not change, collection days and times will be affected.
Many municipalities across Ontario and throughout North America have switched to the automated cart system. This system utilizes a mechanical arm, on each collection vehicle, that picks up, empties and places the carts back on the curb with the driver rarely needing to leave the cab. The carts include wheels making them very convenient and easy to transfer to and from the curb. Key benefits include:
- Expansion of the labour force by removing the significant manual labour aspect from the job, which should help to address labour issued experienced under the current contract
- Reduced litter from windblown materials through the use of large lidded carts for recycling
- Increased and convenient storage capacity for recyclables and organic green bin materials, as the County works to increase diversion and reduce garbage (one large lidded bin instead of multiple under current system)
- Significantly reduced chance of injuries to drivers
Some frequently asked questions about automated cart collection are highlighted below. Additional information regarding collection changes will be provided in 2021, prior to the start of the new contract.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is automated cart collection?
cart collection is a system whereby garbage, recycling, and organics
are set out in special carts which are emptied using a mechanical arm on
the collection vehicle (shown above), instead of workers having to exit
the vehicle, lift bags and empty containers by hand.
Why is the County moving toward automated cart collection?
To mitigate ongoing labour shortages
- Trends indicate that nation-wide labour shortages for truck drivers
will continue to worsen. The Ontario Trucking Association estimates a
shortage of 34,000 drivers across Canada by 2024. The physicality of the
job further reduces the available labour pool; however, automated cart
collection will allow a broader range of workers to perform the job and
reduce the potential for future service impacts. Carts will also
significantly reduce driver injuries from repetitive strain, slips and
To assist with storage capacity – With
the transition to biweekly collection of garbage and recyclables,
residents are storing their garbage and recycling for two weeks. Carts
will provide additional storage until collection day, without
significantly increasing the floor space required. The lids will also
help deter animals and reduce wind-blown litter.
To address health precautions
– Automated collection helps address infection control measures during a
pandemic such as the current COVID-19 outbreak as the carts are not
physically touched by collection staff. This reduces the potential
spread of infection and waste collection service impacts during a
crisis. In light of SARS,
H1N1 and now COVID-19, this decision is prudent to help ensure the
of waste collection services in the future.
How many carts will each household receive and how do we get them?
eligible location will receive a set of three carts: One large cart for
recyclables; one medium-sized cart for garbage; and one smaller cart
for organics. The carts will be delivered prior to November 2021, with
the distribution process taking several weeks to complete. More
information will be provided closer to program commencement.
Will our taxes go up? What will it cost?
cost of waste collection service is increasing significantly across the
province. The cost of automated cart collection is estimated at $315
annually for the average County home, including the cost of carts,
collection service, disposal or processing fees for the various
materials collected and related administrative costs. This investment
will significantly improve the reliability of our collection systems.
Will I be eligible for carts if I live in an apartment, condominium or on a private road?
You must be currently
receiving curbside waste collection from the County of Simcoe to be eligible
for cart collection. To determine eligibility for curbside waste collection
service at your apartment, condominium development, or private road please have
your property management company contact the County at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-263-3199.
What if I am a seasonal resident using a garbage box to contain all my waste items?
will no longer require a garbage box as a means to contain your waste
when you leave your seasonal property: the carts will do this job for
you. In other rural communities utilizing carts, many residents choose
to leave their carts at the end of their driveway (off to the side)
similar to a garbage box, only removing the carts for storage at the end
of the cottage season.
What will I do with all my old containers (blue boxes, green bin and garbage cans)?
the cart program commences, unwanted green bins, recycling boxes and
garbage pails can be brought to a County Waste Facility (free of charge)
to be recycled. More information will be provided closer to program
commencement. Alternatively, there are many ways to repurpose your old
Blue Boxes – Work great for storage, and can be used for occasional overflow recyclables or to place your leaf and yard waste at the curb.
– Can be used for occasional overflow garbage but will and require a
garbage tag. Garbage cans are also handy for storing rakes, shovels,
hockey sticks, etc.
Green Bins – Green bins can be used to store items like birdseed, pet food or driveway salt in the winter.
How will I get the carts to the curb on collection day if I am elderly, disabled, have a long driveway, or if there is snow?
Other communities that have implemented cart collection indicate that initially residents had similar concerns; however, after implementation the feedback on carts is very positive. Moving wheeled carts down the driveway is much easier and more ergonomic than carrying various blue boxes and garbage cans. In other rural communities utilizing carts, many residents choose to leave their carts at the end of their driveway (off to the side) similar to a garbage box and bring material to deposit into their carts as needed. As for snow and winter conditions, many northern communities are successfully using carts such as Timmins Ontario, Winnipeg Manitoba and communities in Alaska.