The City will invest $430 million in a new automated garbage truck and launch of a child-run Bin Compliance Program, it announced today.

Councillors voted during a finance and audit committee meeting on Wednesday to borrow the funds and, at the same time, announced that 14 school children from Victoria will be bussed in daily to provide monitoring of bin compliance.

“The new automated garbage collection system is working well and demand requires that we add more vehicles to the fleet,” said mayor Leonard Krog. “Unfortunately, one issue is that people have not been paying as much attention to prohibited items as we would have liked.”

Nanaimo’s garbage collection has strict rules around what can and can not be placed in the three coloured bins, and misplaced refuse can slow down the process.

The new Bin Compliance Program will see one schoolchild with each garbage truck. The child will be carefully lowered into each bin prior to dumping into the vehicle, to ensure that refuse is sorted correctly. Children will be attached by a harness, for their safety.

The program has been being tested in Departure Bay for the last month, and seven-year old Compliance Officer Jackson Smythe says he feels the program is worthwhile. “It’s really fun and I only had one sprained ankle so far. It’s stinky, but so is my brother!”

The child officers do not qualify for WorkSafe BC coverage, due to their age, but City officials say they “should be fine.”

Children in the program will gain credit for the time away from school and 50 v-Bucks to spend in the popular video game Fortnite.

You can learn more about which items go in which bins at https://www.nanaimo.ca/city-services/garbage-recycling/garbage-calendars.

 

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