BONNYVILLE – As technologies around waste collection in the Town of Bonnyville have evolved, the municipality’s garbage bylaw stayed relatively the same over the years.
As of Feb. 28, Town council approved an updated and modernized Solid Waste Bylaw, Bylaw No.1543-23, that includes expectations for residential garbage placement for mechanical garbage truck pickup, new rates for garbage fees and bylaw infractions, and the addition of information related to Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) disposal.
The Town’s previously consolidated Garbage Bylaw No. 963-87 was originally created in 1987. Over the years, new sections and amendments have been added to the Garbage Bylaw, but it was due for a major modernization, said the Town’s CAO Bill Rogers.
The previous bylaw did not address the Town’s current method of garbage pick-up, which uses carts identifiable with barcodes, and other common practices and operations used by municipal staff.
“Proposed changes involve replacing the old bylaw with a new updated bylaw to match current operations, vocabulary, referenced legislation and provincial departments,” said Rogers. “It also updates all of the fine amounts to current values.”
The transition to the automated waste collection cart system allows for the municipality to increase weight restrictions from 25kg, which was the old garbage can weight restriction, to 80kg for carts.
The new Solid Waste Bylaw also formalizes the practice of collection for "persons with disabilities,” as well as the verification and approval process for who can apply for special pickup.
With these updates, there are clear expectations about how and when residents may place their garbage carts for collection. Failure to meet the municipality’s guidelines could result in hefty fines or garbage not being collected.
“No collector shall be required to make a collection of waste if the cart is not placed according to this bylaw, unless an owner has written approval from the CAO or designate,” states section 6.9.3 of the new Solid Waste Bylaw.
But residential waste is not the only group that falls under the bylaw that can be held liable for improper waste disposal.
The bylaw sets out strict guidelines for garbage contactors, haulers, construction and development sites, commercial, institutional and industrial locations, and how the municipality's landfill, transfer stations and recycling compound may be used. Rules regarding garbage burning and disposal of electronic waste and HHW are also addressed in the bylaw.
Fines and penalties may be applied to anyone found violating any provision of the bylaw with a maximum penalty being $600 for each offence, “and in default of payment thereof to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 60 days,” states section 18.2.
On the flip side, if payment of a penalty for a municipal tag is received within 15 days from the date it was issued, the payment will be reduced by $25.
Fines associated with breaching the new bylaw have seen an increase since the previous Garbage Bylaw was last updated in 2016.
Municipal fines that were once $10 and $25 on the first breach and $25 and $50 on the second breach, are now $125 or $300 for the first infraction and rise to $250 or $600 if the same violation is breached within a 12-month period.
Household Hazardous Waste
Annual Household Hazardous Waste Roundups may be a thing of the past in Bonnyville.
Since the MD of Bonnyville made the switch to collecting HHW year-round at all seven of its landfills and transfer stations, Town council made the decision to follow suit.
Now, Town of Bonnyville residents can dispose of electronic waste and HHW at the Town Shop at 5609-54 Ave from Monday to Friday, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
HHW items accepted are in line with those listed by the Alberta Recycling Management Authority.
In previous years a Bonnyville Household Toxic Roundup would be held to take in items such aerosol cans, pesticides, used oil, paint, and other HHW items not permitted in regular garbage collection.