Ladysmith council hasn’t seen to the bottom of the barrel yet, when it comes to replacing garbage cans in the town centre.
At their Dec. 7 meeting they put a stop to the installation of new cans, already purchased as replacements for the existing receptacles, directing staff to come back with a report on ‘options’ to the Municipal Services Committee.
The hiatus caught public works staff off-guard. They had installed about four of 20 new cans, and were hoping to get most of the remaining one’s installed by early in the new year.
A replacement program was included in the 2015 budget, but the program is on hold. Director of Infrastructure Services John Manson said he still isn’t certain why.
The main reason for replacing the cans was efficiency and savings. The new cans are high volume, which means public works crews do not have to empty them so often. Manson said instead of emptying the cans a ‘few times a week,’ crews can go around monthly.
“There is a savings there,” he said. “It’s definitely an advantage.”
Mayor Aaron stone said Friday, Dec. 18, that he believes the program will get back on track in the New Year, once councillors have had a chance to get used to the new cans.
“They just didn’t grasp what the new ones were going to look like,” he said. “They wanted to see if there were other options.”
Getting to the bottom of the issue will take more than meets the eye, though. The new cans, as well as being wider, are deeper. They are sunken up to four or five feet below pavement level so they can accommodate more refuse.
The bags that go into them are so big that civic crews need a back hoe or truck with a hoist to lift them out. Even so, the reduced frequency of collections, results in a significant savings.
Stone noted that the new cans are also proof against crows, people dumping household garbage and odors. “After I thought about it for a bit, and looked at them a bit more, I think it wasn’t so shocking,” he said.