Curbside Collection Changes Coming in Spring 2021

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Abbotsford City Council approved a new Solid Waste Operations Master Plan in July 2019. The new Master Plan outlines several changes to the current curbside collection program. These changes will provide a more efficient delivery of program services to residents, improve worker health and safety, recognize our commitment to the environment, and potentially lead to additional collection services for residents.

The major change residents can expect will be adopting a cart-based automatic collection system where residents will be provided three carts; one each for recycling, compostables and garbage.

City staff are currently working out the details for implementing a cart-based program, including options for cart sizes, how to manage additional curbside material, and what approach to take with secondary suites. The contract to manufacture and deliver the new curbside collection vehicles was awarded in early April 2020. It is anticipated that the new cart program will be implemented in the spring of 2021, with the time frame being primarily driven by truck procurement timelines. An official start date for the new program will be announced once delivery timelines have been solidified for the new collection vehicles.

The City will also be analyzing what it costs to collect glass and large oversized items such as furniture and mattresses. Information on these potential additional services will be provided once available.

Residents will be informed well in advance of any changes. All current information on this initiative can be found at abbotsford.ca/curbside2021.


Abbotsford City Council approved a new Solid Waste Operations Master Plan in July 2019. The new Master Plan outlines several changes to the current curbside collection program. These changes will provide a more efficient delivery of program services to residents, improve worker health and safety, recognize our commitment to the environment, and potentially lead to additional collection services for residents.

The major change residents can expect will be adopting a cart-based automatic collection system where residents will be provided three carts; one each for recycling, compostables and garbage.

City staff are currently working out the details for implementing a cart-based program, including options for cart sizes, how to manage additional curbside material, and what approach to take with secondary suites. The contract to manufacture and deliver the new curbside collection vehicles was awarded in early April 2020. It is anticipated that the new cart program will be implemented in the spring of 2021, with the time frame being primarily driven by truck procurement timelines. An official start date for the new program will be announced once delivery timelines have been solidified for the new collection vehicles.

The City will also be analyzing what it costs to collect glass and large oversized items such as furniture and mattresses. Information on these potential additional services will be provided once available.

Residents will be informed well in advance of any changes. All current information on this initiative can be found at abbotsford.ca/curbside2021.


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Have a question about the upcoming curbside collection changes?

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    Please include collection of styrofoam in your plan.

    Cannabis-hearing Asked 23 days ago

    Thank you for your suggestion!  

    Foam packaging (such as styrofoam) is a material accepted under the provincial product stewardship program for packaging and paper products.  This program is managed by Recycle BC on behalf of the manufacturers of these materials.  Foam packaging cannot be collected curbside as it breaks and crumbles easily during the collection process.  The broken pieces are difficult to separate from other recyclables and this mixture of materials is incompatible with the recycling process, meaning that neither the foam nor the materials can be recycled properly.  For this reason, Recycle BC requires all foam packaging to be dropped off at a depot so that it can be collected separately to ensure it can be recycled.  The City is also not able to collect this material separately at the curb.   


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    Who is the math genius who calculates total yard waste over a year but in reality it's over a seven month period. With the first two and last to making up 70 percent of the total weight. During July and August I my cut my lawn once a month with only two cans of waste.

    James Asked about 2 months ago

    Material collected in the curbside program is recorded on a daily basis, with overall values being calculated on a monthly and annual basis.   This ensures we account for seasonal variations with yard waste (spring and fall) and recycling (year-end).  Collection vehicles are weighed before and after tipping of all material so this allows the City to record this information on a regular basis.  Additionally, the City undertakes a curbside participation study each year to record set out rates of curbside material at the household level.  All of this information is used to assist with decision making for the City’s Solid Waste program to ensure equitable service for all residents.

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    Why do we need more bins. Using the 2 I have plus a blue bag is hard enough getting up and down our driveway now but to add another will be harder yet. Then there is the issue of storing them until each use. They take up enough room along the side of our house now and you want to add another. And why is there not a pickup for broken furniture at least 1 or 2 times a year like there used to be, we do not have any way of getting it to a dump. Some more thought needs to go into this before more of our money is spent.

    ronandbarbkelly@shaw.ca Asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comment.  The new cart program will provide more efficient delivery of services and improve worker health and safety as the trucks will automatically pick up and empty the carts at curbside. Using carts will also take the onus off residents to purchase blue bags in order to participate in the curbside recycling program. All recycling will be place unbagged and loose in carts.   Recycle BC requires the City to phase out the use of single use blue bags for the collection of curbside recycling.  By streamlining the curbside collection process this will also allow the City the opportunity to evaluate adding additional curbside collection services such as the collection of glass or bulky items (like broken furniture).  The City is currently undertaking a cost analysis on potentially adding these additional services so please stay tuned for more information!

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    Your plan for yard waste and one bin is unrealistic for our property. Like another writer, we have a steep driveway which will be a challenge to move bins up and down. We currently use our allocation of 10 garbage bins for yard waste throughout the warmer months. We have no way of getting the yard waste to a central compost area. Please reconsider your strategy for yard waste. I don't need curbside pickup of furniture and mattresses, but I do need regular pickup for yard waste in bins sizes that I can store and manage. The garbage bin initiative now in effective works PERFECTLY for us.

    Pia Ritch Asked 3 months ago

    Staff are still working out the details for cart sizes and options for managing additional yard waste and will provide information once it becomes available.  In 2018 there was 12,000 tonnes of compostables collected in the curbside collection program, which works out to just under 10kg per household per week.  During the peak month of May in that year, the average rose to 13.2kg per household per week.  The most common cart size used by municipalities is 240L, which is the equivalent of three 80L compostable waste containers and can hold up to 45kg of compostables.  We are reviewing how other municipalities with carts manage additional yard waste including options for different cart sizes, additional carts for some waste streams, and the use of paper yard waste bags during specified times of the year.  We are looking into whether these options are something that could work in our community, while also ensuring equitable services is provided to all residents in the curbside collection program.  As the contract for the new collection vehicles was awarded in early April, we anticipate that we will have some updated cart program information available to share in June.  Please stay tuned!

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    I sure wish the City of Abbotsford would have had the foresight to ask the taxpayers of Abbotsford whether this change, again, to our garbage pickup was necessary. All we can see is that this will make for a major inconvenience for us and many other people. Our main issue with these new carts is storage. They are big and cumbersome and can't be stacked like garbage cans and put to the side. There is no way they will be stored at the front of the house and so to the back of the house they will go. Getting them to the front and to the curb will be a major issue for me. We have lawn on both sides of our home. Hauling big bins through grass and up slopes isn't going be to easy. I am going to be 60 and I have a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder. I am not going to have a easy time of it. Not to mention that my lawn will be ruined dragging the bins across it regularly. I have no idea how I will get the bins to the curb in the winter. When and If it snows I will have to clean my whole driveway before I can get to bins to the front of the house. I can't carry the bins like I could the garbage cans. The route I would have to go with the bin on one side of the house is where we usually put our mountain of snow when our driveway needs clearing. I hope there is a market for old garbage cans out there since there will be thousands of garbage cans that won't be needed anymore. Garbage cans to the garbage dump, how ironic. The city hasn't really addressed the issue of those home owners out there that have large yards and trees that will need more than one bin for compostables. We are allowed 10 cans or bags of waste now. How many bins will someone need to allow the same amount. Who wants that many bins around their home. I am also concerned about the size of the bin that will be implemented for garbage. Will three bags fit and what if I need to put an extra bag out with a sticker. We have seen these bins being used in other cities and quite often they sit at the curb completely overflowing with garbage or yard waste. I feel we are going from one system that seems to work fine to another that appears will bring many issues, unwanted issues. How many garbage workers will lose their jobs while this system is implemented? These changes shouldn't, shouldn't, cause hardship or major inconviences for everyone but it appears they will.

    Michelle Pitzel Asked 3 months ago

    The City reviews all its programs and services regularly and adjusts them periodically to ensure we are using the latest and most efficient technology, providing value for service, and meeting our goal to be an inclusive and sustainable community.  We are providing information about changes to the curbside collection program now, well ahead of implementation in late-2020 or early-2021, in an effort to inform our residents, answer questions, receive their ideas and feedback (including with respect to carts), and be ready for a successful program roll-out. 

    Staff are still working out the details for cart sizes and options for managing additional yard waste and are also looking into reuse or recycling options for old containers that will no longer be needed by residents.  We are reviewing how other municipalities with carts manage their programs and are looking into what options could work in our community, while also ensuring equitable services is provided to all residents in the curbside collection program.  As the contract for the new collection vehicles was awarded in early April, we anticipate we will have some updated cart program information to share in June.  Please stay tuned for additional information!

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    How is all of my green waste going to be picked up when I place up to 6 cans curbside currently

    Curtis Hines Asked 8 months ago

    Staff are still working out the details for cart sizes and options for managing additional yard waste and will provide information once it becomes available.  In 2018 there was 12,000 tonnes of compostables collected in the curbside collection program, which works out to just under 10kg per household per week.  During the peak month of May in that year, the average rose to 13.2kg per household per week.  The most common cart size used by municipalities is 240L, which is the equivalent of three 80L compostable waste containers and can hold up to 45kg of compostables.  We are reviewing how other municipalities with carts manage additional yard waste including options for different cart sizes, additional carts for some waste streams, and the use of paper yard waste bags during specified times of the year.  We are looking into whether these options are something that could work in our community, while also ensuring equitable services is provided to all residents in the curbside collection program.  Please stay tuned for additional information!


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    Presently we allowed 10 cans per week of compostables. How will this be impacted with the new collections changes? Will home owners be expected to take there excess green to a drop site?

    Gordo Asked 8 months ago

    Staff are still working out the details for cart sizes and options for managing additional yard waste and will provide information once it becomes available.  In 2018 there was 12,000 tonnes of compostables collected in the curbside collection program, which works out to just under 10kg per household per week.  During the peak month of May in that year, the average rose to 13.2kg per household per week.  The most common cart size used by municipalities is 240L, which is the equivalent of three 80L compostable waste containers and can hold up to 45kg of compostables.  We are reviewing how other municipalities with carts manage additional yard waste including options for different cart sizes, additional carts for some waste streams, and the use of paper yard waste bags during specified times of the year.  We are looking into whether these options are something that could work in our community, while also ensuring equitable services is provided to all residents in the curbside collection program.  Please stay tuned for additional information!


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    Will composting be available for people in apartments? Currently our building only has garbage and recycling.

    Kira Asked 9 months ago

    The separate collection of compostables will be required at multi-family properties such as apartments, condos and townhouses by April 1, 2020.  Please visit abbotsford.ca/compostables for all current information on this initiative.  

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    Our property generates a lot of yard waste and we don't own a pickup truck. I would be very disappointed if the current (brilliant) compost collection strategy were abandoned. Also, we have a steep driveway, I find it difficult to imagine wheeling these huge bins up the driveway, especially in winter when our driveway is too slick to use...we have to use stairs. How are we supposed to get those bins up stairs? And how are we supposed to negotiate snow drifts? Currently we just put our bags where we can and that works.

    chrissawatzky Asked 10 months ago

    Staff are still working out the details for cart sizes and options for managing additional yard waste and will provide information once it becomes available.  In 2018 there was 12,000 tonnes of compostables collected in the curbside collection program, which works out to just under 10kg per household per week.  During the peak month of May in that year, the average rose to 13.2kg per household per week.  The most common cart size used by municipalities is 240L, which is the equivalent of three 80L compostable waste containers and can hold up to 45kg of compostables.  We are reviewing how other municipalities with carts manage additional yard waste including options for different cart sizes, additional carts for some waste streams, and the use of paper yard waste bags during specified times of the year.  We are looking into whether these options are something that could work in our community, while also ensuring equitable services is provided to all residents in the curbside collection program.  

    We are also reviewing how other municipalities manage curbside placement of carts and how carts are used on properties with long or steep driveways.

    Please stay tuned for more information!


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    Can the you explain one tangible benefit a landlord/tenant receive for the Infrastructure fee of $260/year paid to the City for operating a secondary suite? Additional garbage bins are not one of them. We are expected to pay a fee and manage 2 households worth of garbage using the same bins allotted to 1 household without a suite who pay $260 less in fees/taxes to the city. This is not fair to landlords or tenants who live in the City of Abbotsford. https://www.abbotsford.ca/business_and_development/secondary_suites.htm#fees

    biketepticenertc Asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your question!  

    The annual secondary suite infrastructure fee covers:

    1. The operational costs of maintaining the secondary suite program, and
    2. A contribution to the capital reserve in recognition of the additional demands secondary suites place on the City’s infrastructure. 

    There are complex issues and challenges associated with secondary suites, and it this fee that helps fund the operational costs of developing adequate building standards, conducting zoning reviews, enforcing bylaws and administrating the program. 

    The fee also funds infrastructure replacement and renewal for (i) transportation and roads, (ii) police and fire services, and (iii) parks and rec facilities.  Major demands on the City’s infrastructure result from vehicle-related impacts, such as wear and tear on roads.  In general terms, secondary suites require additional use of police and fire services as domestic disputes increase in relation to the number of family units, and every additional kitchen unit increases the risk of fire.  Finally, increased residential density increases the need for other infrastructure such as parks, recreation and cultural facilities, which are funded, in part, from the general capital reserve. 

    The fee does not include additional curbside collection services for secondary suites because it is impossible for collection crews to know if there is a registered secondary suite on the property.  This means that currently the maximum container or bag limits apply to the home and not to the individual suites.  However, staff are working out the details for cart sizes and options for the new collection program, including how they may be applied to secondary suites.  Information will be shared with residents when it becomes available.