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Frequently Asked Questions - Automated Garbage Collection

What is Automated Garbage Collection?

Automated garbage collection consists of specially designed wheeled carts for each household or unit
and collection vehicles equipped with automated arms to pick up the carts.

Why is the city moving to automated garbage collection?

City Council have decided to move ahead with implementation for a variety of reasons. Automated
garbage collection is used in many cities throughout Canada. Benefits include:
Reduced litter
Alleviates rodent and pest problems on our streets
Eliminates the need for garbage nets and blankets
Increased efficiency
Reduces occupational health and safety hazards for staff

How much will automated garbage cost?

There are two components to automated garbage collection trucks fitted with automated arms, and
bins/carts for each residence.
The upgrades to fleet will cost between $1.2 and $1.5 million
The bins will cost between $3 and $3.8 million, depending on what size bin the city purchases.

When will automated garbage collection begin?

The roll out of automated garbage will take place in phases, with the first phase in 2018.

What size is the bin/cart?

The size of the bin will be determined by the public engagement process and the final decision will be
made by City Council. There are two options being explored a medium size bin that can fit 3 to 4 full
garbage bags and a large size bin that can fit 5 to 6 full garbage bags.

When will I get my new bin?

The exact date for the start of the program will be announced before the end of 2017. Residents will
receive their bins just prior to the time when their household will be included in the program.

How does the bin work?

Residents place their regular household garbage (not recycling) bags in the bin and the lid must close.
On their designated garbage day, residents simply wheel their bin to the street and place it with the
wheels facing the curb and the lid opening pointed towards the centre of the street.

How heavy is the bin?

The exact weight of the bin will be determined by the size which has not yet been decided. This is
part of the engagement process.
The bins are equipped with two wheels and handles for maneuvering the bin.
The design is such that the bins are heavy set at the bottom so as not to blow away, but are not difficult
to roll down the driveway.

How will it work for seniors and persons with disabilities?

The citys engagement team will be reaching out to the Coalition for Persons with Disabilities (COD-
NL), the Accessibility and Inclusion Advisory Committee and seniors groups to work though details on
how to address challenges that residents will face.

Will bins be able to withstand snow storms and heavy winds?

Similar to todays waste collection, if there is extreme weather, garbage and recycling pick-up for that
day will be postponed to a new date.

Sign up for e-updates here, or you can go to and sign up for reminders via the method of
your choice (phone, email, text or twitter direct message).

How does it work with Recycling?

There is no change to recycling collection. Please do not place recyclables in the bin. Recycling will
continue to be collected manually in the see-through blue bags.

Do I need to put a weight in the bin to keep it stable?

No, anything placed inside of the bin will be emptied during collection. The bins are designed to
withstand wind. Unless we are experiencing a major storm, the bins will not need to be secured.

How will it work on steep hills?

Automated Garbage will not include downtown or areas that are determined to be too steep for the
equipment to function properly.

I live downtown, will I get a bin too?

The downtown area of the City of St. Johns cannot be serviced by automated garbage collection.
Households not being serviced by automated garbage collection will continue to be collected manually
and will not receive a bin.

What if there are cars parked on the street near the bin?
The garbage collection trucks will be fitted with extendable arms that will allow for pick up in between
vehicles if sufficient room is available. Instructions on the amount of space required for safe collection
will be included when the bins are delivered to your household.