In-ground garbage system on hold

Balancing the need for more efficient, cost effective and environmentally responsible garbage receptacles

  • Mar. 15, 2016 7:00 a.m.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

That’s what Ladysmith council is wrestling with, balancing the need for more efficient, cost effective and environmentally responsible garbage receptacles in the downtown with the desire to preserve the character of First Avenue.

Some councillors aren’t so sure how the municipality’s in-ground garbage receptacles look on the street, so they referred the matter to the town’s Development Services Department and the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association after installing four of 13 cans planned for downtown.

They are hoping for suggestions to help make the receptacles, which were described as big, squat and out of character, a better fit.

“They’re big and they flare out,” Coun. Duck Paterson said at the Feb. 15 meeting of council. “They just look unwieldy out there.”

The town has purchased 33 of the canisters, manufactured by Sybertech Waste Reduction in Whiterock, B.C., each of which can hold 4 cubic metres of trash. To put that in perspective, the 13 receptacles planned for the downtown area would be able to hold up to 52 cubic yards, compared to the 5 cubic yards that could be placed in 27 small, conventional receptacles in place.

Ladysmith’s Manager of Operations Kevin Goldfuss said the greater capacity leads to big savings for the town. Instead of being picked up three days a week, the garbage could be collected once every six to eight weeks.

And between pickups, the town would be cleaner. “Right now the birds get into them all the time,” Goldfuss said. “You have that problem with crows and seagulls.” But the tight fitting lids and doors on the in-ground system keep the birds out.

Because the flap that allows garbage in is smaller, and the units are sealed, the problem of people shoving household garbage into the cans will also be eliminated, he said.

As for odors, the system is tightly sealed, and mostly underground, where it is cooler, so there’s no odor problem.

Goldfuss said ideas are being developed to make the receptacles more appealing. One concept is  ‘wraps’ like those used on some utility boxes. “We’ve been asked to look at some concepts and the look,” Goldfuss said.

See video item on Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle Facebook site.