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Valemount Mayor and Council have approved the purchase of a new garbage truck with an automatic arm to replace the existing truck.

The new truck will accommodate household and business bins and give the Village the option to introduce curbside recycling down the road.

The Village took over garbage pick-up after the former garbage collecting contractor retired last year. They bought the truck from him and Public Works staff have done garbage collection since that time, at a lower cost to the Village.

But since the Village took over collection, there have been a number of complaints over the reliability of the service.

“Everyone I think is aware of the condition of the Village Garbage Truck and some of the challenges around our current garbage pick-up,” said Chief Administrative Officer Anne Yanciw at the April 9th Council meeting.

The Village says automatic bins (or wheeled carts) will make it easier for residents to get the bin to the roadside, will not be vulnerable to crows and dogs, will eliminate the problem of overloaded bags breaking, and reduce missed pickups.

Valemount Mayor Andru McCracken says another part of the issue is Public Works staff lifting heavy bins, noting it is a Work Safe BC hazard. The new truck should allow Public Works staff to complete the job faster and avoid injuries from lifting.

Following a call for tenders, the Village of Valemount purchased a new garbage truck from Rollins Machinery. The truck is an F550, complete with a packer and automatic arms. The cost of the garbage truck is $121,000, including tax, which will be paid back through a five year loan. The garbage truck is expected to arrive in Valemount this summer.

Village staff are currently assessing options for the purchase of garbage bins that are compatible with the automatic arms. At the April 23rd Council meeting, it was mentioned that there may be a fee to residents associated with the new bins.

McCracken says the Village is also currently reviewing its garbage bylaws, routes and scheduling, and fee structures in order to better accommodate the new garbage truck. The Village is assessing the most fair way to apply garbage pickup costs to not be onerous for users while at the same time putting incentives to recycle in place.

He says while they do not plan to implement curbside recycling pick-up at the moment, it sets up the Village with the ability to do so in the future.

“It’s not a promise we’re making now, but certainly that’s where our interest is.”

By Laura Keil