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County provides first peek at new automated waste collection system (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

The new garbage, recycling, and organics carts will be delivered at the end of the summer for residents to start using Nov. 1

The new waste contract for automated cart collection across Simcoe County officially rolls out Nov. 1, but this week the county provided a peek at the new bins, new trucks and a new website to help answer questions residents may have about the future of curbside waste collection.

“On behalf of County Council, we look forward to enhancing waste services starting November 1, 2021, joining leading municipalities across North America that have successfully switched to this improved collection system,” said Warden George Cornell.

“We're confident that residents will find the easy to wheel carts to be a far more convenient solution than carrying and storing multiple bags, containers and open bins each week. We know that the switch to bi-weekly collections in early 2020 was challenging for residents, and with increased vertical storage the cart system will be a significant improvement.”

Cornell acknowledged there have been issues over the past two years when it came to driver shortages, which led to missed collection routes in all of the county’s municipalities.

“We took that into consideration when we looked at our new contract going forward, and that led to automated carts. There are many municipalities that have moved to this and are very pleased with the results,” said Cornell. “We’re all about our service levels. We have had issues in regards to missed pick ups, and some of that was directly related to driver availability. The automated carts have been proven through other municipalities... to alleviate that.”

While Cornell said he has heard concerns from residents regarding the size of the bins, he said choosing one standard size makes the system more cost-effective. New carts will start to be delivered to residents in August to begin using Nov. 1.

Miller Waste Services will be managing the new system moving forward. Derek Walton, operations manager with Miller Waste Services, will be overseeing the County of Simcoe contract.

“We’re excited. This is the business we’re in,” said Walton. “We do automation on other contracts we have and we’re looking forward to our partnership with the County of Simcoe.”

Miller Waste Services is currently in the process of hiring drivers for all routes across Simcoe County.

“That’s the thing with this type of collection, it broadens the driver pool,” said Walton.

As there will be about 80 routes to run per day, Walton said he estimates Miller will be hiring between 80 to 90 new employees between drivers, managers and supervisors to fulfil the contract.

“We’re trying to rein in as many drivers as we can,” he said.

For more information on automated cart collection, visit the County of Simcoe’s website here.

Employment opportunities are posted to Miller Waste’s website here.

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen brings 12 years of experience to her role as regional reporter for Village Media, primarily covering Collingwood, County of Simcoe and education.
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