Spruce Grove keeping weekly garbage pickup...for now

Switch to biweekly schedule could be phased in later

A new waste collection contract for the City of Spruce Grove won't affect the frequency of garbage pickup - at least initially.

That was the message from council to city staff at Monday night's meeting, where council passed multiple guidelines to pursue in the new contract, which will be signed following an RFP bidding process in the new year.

The scaling back to bi-weekly service would actually put the city in line with some surrounding municipalities, including Stony Plain.

The idea behind this is that if people can't count on weekly service, they'll be more proactive about keeping recyclables and organic waste out of the garbage, which would divert more of those items away from the landfill.

The City has tracked a diversion rate for garbage, and has seen it remain between 35% and 40% over the last decade.

Though councillors had interest in making a switch down the road, many felt there needed to be more public awareness raised, considering nearly half of the residents surveyed by city staff were against the idea.

Council also lamented a lack of information related to cost - as staff don't have an official estimate on what any potential cost savings might be.

In the end, the weekly service will be maintained for now, but staff have also been instructed  to negotiate the possibility of a transition to biweekly pickups in the new contract.

Councillors also voted to keep monthly pickups for organic recycling during the winter, along with the yearly large item collection - though they didn't rule out tighter restrictions on those loads.

Finally, this will be the last year Christmas trees will be collected curbside, as council approved a phase-out of that service for the upcoming agreement.


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