Fewer complaints over White Rock trash change

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There’s trash talk in the City of White Rock this week, but don’t get the wrong idea.

The talk is actually about trash, a.k.a. garbage.

With all eyes on Metro Vancouver’s mandate to divert 70 per cent of solid-waste from the landfills by 2015, White Rock – like Surrey – is changing its garbage collection schedule.

Starting Monday, White Rock staff will only pick up curbside trash from single-family homes every two weeks instead of weekly.

There is no change to the city’s blue-box recycling and ‘Green Can’ programs, which will continue on a weekly pickup schedule.

The pending shift has triggered “a fair bit” of calls to city’s public works department, said Greg St. Louis, White Rock’s new director of engineering and municipal operations.

But most callers, he said Tuesday, aren’t complaining; they’re looking for clarification on what exactly the change is.

Fortunately, the answer is simple.

“Basically, the only thing that’s changing in White Rock is garbage (collection) is every two weeks,” St. Louis said.

In Surrey, the new Rethink Waste Collection Program that also launches Monday means food waste and other organics will be picked up separately from garbage. In preparation, workers have been dropping off a trio of large, colour-coded bins at homes throughout the city in recent weeks.

The size of the bins – 360-litres – has been a source of concern for some residents.

But White Rock residents needn’t worry that those same bins will show up in their driveways. Given the sloped nature of the waterfront city, such a tact would likely not produce the desired result, St. Louis said.

“We’d have runaway bins,” he said.

Residents can simply continue with their existing bins, which St. Louis hopes are the 110-litre size that have been encouraged.

City officials had initially hoped to make the shift to biweekly garbage collection in March 2011, but a May 2012 staff report notes the timing of implementation “has been influenced by many factors, including changes in senior management and waste management system issues, as well as recognition that a more extensive public engagement process was required than initially thought.”

The Oct. 1, 2012 date was chosen to coincide with Surrey’s move to biweekly garbage pickup.

St. Louis said efforts to inform White Rock residents and clarify details of the change have included notices that went out with property-tax assessments, newspaper advertising and the distribution of a miniature calendar that was delivered this week detailing the pickup schedule.

For more information on the new collection schedule, call 604-541-2181 or visit


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