YOU ASKED: I was curious on how many homes can a Kamloops garbage/recycle truck pick up before it is full and has to dump its load off?
Secondly, are the truck operators noticing if more recycling bins are out for pickup instead of the garbage bins? I know for myself that I put out my recycling bin out every week but my garbage bin now takes about two weeks to fill, therefore I am only putting the garbage bin out every second week.
In Vancouver they have a third bin which is for green items (compostable stuff). Is the City considering this service? I think it would work great here and would most likely help our city with the bear issues. This green bin is a service I would gladly pay for.
— Nelson Neves
OUR ANSWER: We found the answers in Rob Kloster, the solid waste supervisor for the City of Kamloops.
As you know, the trucks that come around once a week are set up to tip two cans at each house — a recycling can and a garbage can.
A diverter plate in the loading hopper sends the contents from the recyclables to one side of the truck and the contents from the garbage cans to the other side. A steel wall separates the bins.
Kloster says the trucks hold enough volume that they can collect from about 450 to 500 homes before having to unload.
“Without actually counting the carts out on each route, we estimate about 65 to 70 per cent of the recycling carts are out each week,” he said.
But there is still an equal ratio of garbage and recycling cans going to the curb each week, added Kloster.
Kloster believes the City’s collection system is “very efficient” compared to other communities that send two trucks to each route to gather recycling and garbage.
And by allowing recycling cans to be placed at the curb weekly, he says the City has set the stage to maximize the amount of recyclables that stay out of the landfill.
“If the customer is only setting out their garbage every two weeks, then they should be using the smallest garbage container available (the 120-litre model) and set it at the curb weekly,” said Kloster.
You’re right about other communities having a third bin for “green” matter, and that’s something Kloster is looking into.
“Most places that have a third cart for green waste — seven to eight months of the year — have to reduce recycling collection to every two weeks during the green collection season,” he said.
“We are investigating methods of providing food waste and green collection and hope to pilot various methods in the near future.”