New garbage collection program sees thousands of missed pick-up calls, city data shows

EDMONTON — New black and green bins are planned to be delivered to all Edmontonians come September, but some residents are already taking issue with the city’s new garbage collection program.

Corinne Shostak, who lives in the northside neigbourhood of Eaux Claires, is one of those residents. She says the city missed picking up her green compost bin, and there’s security camera footage to prove it.

A recording shows a garbage truck reaching out its remote control arm, missing her garbage, and driving off.

“So my garbage wasn’t picked up,” said Shostak. “As far as I know the only one on the cul de sac.”

Shostak says her green bin was mostly full and placed with the proper clearance from obstacles, when the truck missed it on Thursday, July 15.

“Everything looks like I did it exactly the way that they wanted, it was just missed,” says Shostak.

Mordecai Baba, director of collection services with the city of Edmonton, says Shostak’s cart was likely in the truck driver’s blind spot, and that the missed pick up was an honest mistake.

“We’re not intentionally leaving behind carts,” said Baba. “With every big project like this, we anticipate hiccups along the way.”

Data from the City of Edmonton shows Shostak’s experience is not an anomaly.

Around 3,000 calls have been made to 311 for individual missed garbage pickups and 13,000 households have reported delayed collections since March, when the delivery of the new bins began.

Baba says every properly placed cart should be collected, but people can make it easier for garbage truck drivers by parking off the street.

“The expectation for the driver is to get out of the truck, adjust the bin, and pick it up,” said Baba.

Despite that expectation, Edmontonians are encouraged to call 311 should the city miss their cart in the future.

“I’m hoping it is a one-time thing and I really don’t want to have to go through this again, especially if it was the garbage one,” said Shostak.

With files from CTV Edmonton’s Jeremy Thompson.

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