Curbside Collection Changes Coming in Spring 2021

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NEW PROGRAM begins April 19, 2021

In 2019, City Council approved the implementation of a new Solid Waste Operations Master Plan which outlined changes to the curbside collection program to align with Council’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. This new collection program will see a switch to cart-based fully automated collection system for all three streams of waste: recycling, compostables and garbage.

Program Benefits

  • Easy to roll durable carts means no heavy lifting or dragging material to the curb;
  • Secure cart lids will help neighbourhood esthetics by keeping material contained;
  • Customizable cart sizes to best suit your household needs;
  • Elimination of blue bags for recycling;
  • New “greener” collection vehicles that will run on renewable diesel; and
  • Improved worker health and safety.

Program Highlights

  • Residents can expect three 240 L carts to be delivered starting in February 2021;
  • One cart will be provided for each of the three waste streams: recycling, compostables and garbage;
  • New carts will begin to be collected on Monday, April 19, 2021;
  • The 240 L carts will be used for 90 days, after which time, residents will be able to request to upsize or downsize their cart depending on their household’s waste needs;
  • Curbside recycling will change to every other week collection and will alternate with curbside garbage collection; and
  • Curbside compostables will continue to be collected weekly.

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


NEW PROGRAM begins April 19, 2021

In 2019, City Council approved the implementation of a new Solid Waste Operations Master Plan which outlined changes to the curbside collection program to align with Council’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. This new collection program will see a switch to cart-based fully automated collection system for all three streams of waste: recycling, compostables and garbage.

Program Benefits

  • Easy to roll durable carts means no heavy lifting or dragging material to the curb;
  • Secure cart lids will help neighbourhood esthetics by keeping material contained;
  • Customizable cart sizes to best suit your household needs;
  • Elimination of blue bags for recycling;
  • New “greener” collection vehicles that will run on renewable diesel; and
  • Improved worker health and safety.

Program Highlights

  • Residents can expect three 240 L carts to be delivered starting in February 2021;
  • One cart will be provided for each of the three waste streams: recycling, compostables and garbage;
  • New carts will begin to be collected on Monday, April 19, 2021;
  • The 240 L carts will be used for 90 days, after which time, residents will be able to request to upsize or downsize their cart depending on their household’s waste needs;
  • Curbside recycling will change to every other week collection and will alternate with curbside garbage collection; and
  • Curbside compostables will continue to be collected weekly.

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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    Will the the large paper yard waste bags still acceptable

    John Horner asked 5 days ago

    Under the new cart program, all curbside material must be contained in a cart with a closed lid. Overflowing carts or other loose or bagged material (such as paper yard waste bags) will not be collected.  

    To help with the transition to the new cart program, the City will be providing additional yard waste coupons to residents.  Three yard waste coupons will be provided with the collection schedule mailed in early December 2020.  An additional six yard waste coupons will be provided with the new collection schedule included when the new carts are delivered to your home.

    If you have more yard waste than what will fit inside the 240 L cart, you can either use a yard waste coupon to drop it off for free, or can store it until your next scheduled collection day.  Alternatively, you could consider leaving grass clippings on your lawn to release water and nutrients back into the soil, or use a backyard compost or mulcher for leaves and grass clippings.

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    Please add glass and plastic to curbside recycling.

    Ryansinned asked 7 days ago

    Thank you for your comment!  We are still looking into whether the City will be able to provide curbside collection of glass as it depends on a number of variables.  We anticipated we will have a decision on this in 2021.  

    Most rigid plastics are already accepted in the curbside program and this will not change with the new cart program.  Stretchy plastics (e.g. grocery bags, bread bags, bulk bags, etc.) will continue to not be accepted curbside as this material is required to be dropped off at a recycling depot to ensure efficient recycling, and is a requirement of the provincial Recycle BC program.  

    Crinkly plastics (e.g. chip bags, cereal bags, granola bar wrappers, etc.) will continue be accepted with curbside garbage.  However, this may change pending the results of the ongoing research and development program, and some material may be accepted with curbside recycling if Recycle BC is able to find a way to efficiently recycle it.t 

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    I am almost 80 and live on a rural property with a 500 metre long driveway. The carts won't fit in our car and I would not be physically able to lift them full into the car even if they fit. How am I supposed to get them to the street for pickup? I would imagine that this is going to be a common complaint which you seem not to have thought very carefully about.

    HWF asked 10 days ago

    The carts have large sturdy wheels and a stable base making them easy to move on pavement, gravel, grass and even through the snow. You may want to store the empty carts near the end of your driveway (on your property) chained to a fence or a tree, or inside a secure enclosure. On collection day, you would then need unlock and move the carts to the edge of the road. This approach would be similar to how you are bringing material to the curb for the current collection program, except that when you bring material to the curb under the new program you put it into carts rather than leaving the bags or containers at the curb. 

    The City is currently reviewing a number of cart attachments available on the market that can be installed on the back of vehicles to allow residents to easily tow their carts to the curb. The attachments can be affixed to cars, trucks, ATVs, lawn tractors, etc. More information will be shared on these attachments once our review is complete.  This may also be an option for you to assist with getting your carts to the curb.

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    For those of us in rural areas with long unpaved driveways what will out options be. There is no way we will be able to get those containers up and down our driveways which is gravel, over 400ft long and a hill. It says after 3 months the large containers can be exchanged for smaller ones but what will we do in the meantime.

    Denns1 asked 10 days ago

    The carts have large sturdy wheels and a stable base making them easy to move on pavement, gravel, grass and even through the snow. 

    Some residents might choose to store the empty carts at the end of their driveway (on their property) chained to a fence or a tree, or inside a secure enclosure. On collection day, the carts would need to be unlocked and moved to the edge of the road. This approach would be similar to how residents are bringing material to the curb for the current collection program, except that when you bring material to the curb under the new program you put it into carts rather than leaving the bags or containers at the curb. In the new program, recycling material will need to be placed loose into the cart. Residents can transport the material to the cart in bags and then empty the bags into the cart for collection. Blue bags will not be accepted in the new cart program. 

    It is important to note that only empty carts should be left out unsecured to avoid creating wildlife attractants. Carts containing waste should be stored inside a garage or other secure storage area.

    The City is currently reviewing a number of cart attachments available on the market that can be installed on the back of vehicles to allow residents to easily tow their carts to the curb. The attachments can be affixed to cars, trucks, ATVs, lawn tractors, etc. More information will be shared on these attachments once our review is complete.

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    What about basement suite residents? Is this just for main house residents and the basement suite tenants are out of luck? Or will houses with a basement suite get 2 sets

    SJH asked 10 days ago

    Under the current curbside collection program, the Suite Registration Fee and the annual Infrastructure Fee paid for secondary suites under the City’s Building Bylaw does not include additional curbside collection services for the suite. This means that the current limits of material accepted at the curb appy to the house and not the individual suites (i.e., 3 bags or containers of garbage, 10 bags, containers or bundles of compostables, unlimited recycling).  However, staff are working out the details on whether additional service can be provided to registered secondary suites. Information will be shared with residents when it becomes available.

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    We have two questions/concerns about the upcoming changes. 1. Will the containers be considered animal proof/secure? Last fall, our neighbourhood was visited by door to door by Conservation officers who were giving warning tickets to residents who were placing their garbage cans outside of their garages or specially built containment units, citing that it brought wild animals into the area and we do not live in a rural area but in a largely populated suburbia area of Abby. Have you consulted with them and what the expectations will be for residents with these larger, city designated bins? 2. Secondly like many of the responses here, yard waste amounts are a concern. I have read the standard answer of the average amount of waste and consulting other municipalities, however has any recognition been given that the needs of Abbotsford residents in different neighbourhoods and property sizes varies greatly in our communities. Also if you are comparing our larger property sizes to that of other municipalities, the one size fits all approach just may not be appropriate.

    roses2020 asked 4 months ago

    Hi there!  Thank you for your questions and bringing forward your concerns.  The City is still evaluating which carts will be used for the curbside collection program, including the size and design and whether wildife-resistant carts will be an option.  We are fortunate that many other municipalities have rolled out cart programs in their communities and they have been open with sharing their successes and challenges with the City.  The City also has detailed records for amounts of compostables, recycling and garbage collected in the City's curbside collection program both at a neighbourhood level and household level.  All of this information is being used to determine the best approach for the cart program for our community while ensuring equitable services are provided for residents.  We anticipate we will have more detailed information available on the cart program later this fall so please stay tuned!    

    Regarding tickets received from provincial Conservation Officers, those tickets would be have been issued for wildlife attractants not being properly managed.  Compostables, recycling or garbage that is stored outside unsecured is considered a wildlife attractant and this will not change once the new carts are in use.  The City is currently looking into options for ways for residents to secure their carts if they do not have a garage or other enclosed structure.  We hope to have more information later this fall when the rest of the details on the cart program is released. 

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    Please include collection of styrofoam in your plan.

    Cannabis-hearing asked 5 months 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 5 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 6 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 7 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!