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October 4, 2010

The Black Carts Are Coming!

I believe one of the very first blogs I ever posted on the Poooh Busters blog was about Calgary's new Blue Bin Recycling Program. I had a little rant about the lack of people using their blue bins in my neighbourhood when they first came out.

Poooh Busters tries its best to be environmentally responsible and every once in a while I'll blog or add some info about environmental issues. It's not always about dogs or pets. We can discuss other things too!

Well as I was cruising around Facebook, I saw a side ad for the City of Calgary Black Bin Program. I had no idea this was happening! Did anyone else know about it? I guess Mrs. Nate and I really should watch the news or read newspapers more often. We are bad for not keeping up on our news.

Anyway, I just wanted to write this quick blog about the Black Bin Program in case there were other folks out there, like me, who were oblivious to this new initiative that our fine City is about to implement. The following is some info I found on their website.

This fall, The City will start rolling out Black Cart Garbage Collection to households across Calgary.

Black carts will improve garbage collection service by reducing litter in lanes and streets, increasing efficiency, and making things safer for collectors and residents.

What is Black Cart Garbage Collection?
Black Cart Garbage Collection uses trucks with mechanical arms to collect garbage from wheeled carts, a lot like the way blue cart recycling is collected now. Homes that currently have garbage collected by hand will receive a black cart. Residents will put their regular household garbage in the cart instead of in a trash bag or can.

Black carts will improve garbage collection in a number of ways:

  • The carts keep garbage from getting scattered by animals or wind, and keeps neighbourhoods cleaner. Garbage stays in and pests stay out.

  • Black Cart Garbage Collection is more efficient, because it is collected using one-person trucks instead of two person crews.

  • The carts are safer for residents and our collectors, because they reduce heavy lifting and contact with sharp objects.

There is no extra fee for Black Cart Garbage Collection, and additional bags will still be collected. The City encourages home owners to reduce and recycle as much material as possible. However, garbage that does not fit in the cart can be put in bags or cans and set next to it.

About the Black Cart Garbage Collection Pilot
Waste & Recycling Services began providing Black Cart Garbage Collection in six communities in the fall of 2008 – Cedarbrae, Citadel, Deer Run, Dover, Huntington Hills and Mount Pleasant. The pilot was very successful. In a survey of residents, 93 per cent said they were satisfied with the service. No garbage collectors involved in the pilot have lost time due to injury on the job. There were over 100 injuries to traditional garbage collectors during the same period. The communities were chosen based on the need to test various combinations of service such as front set outs and back lanes in established inner city locations and suburban areas. Cedarbrae, Huntington Hills and Mount Pleasant were also involved in the successful pilot for Blue Cart recycling in 2005. This pilot gave Waste & Recycling Services the opportunity to test automated collection in various scenarios in order to evaluate the benefits of applying automated collection city-wide.

So there you have it! If you want more info please be sure to visit the City's website. It's got a lot of great tips on what to trash, what to recycle and what to do with your old trash can if you have one.


  1. I have been waiting a long time for this. It totally defeats the purpose if they still allow additional garbage to be set out beside the bins as well because the driver still has to get out of the truck to collect it. I really hope that Calgary implements a 2 bag rule (or whatever doesn't fit in the bin, too bad) like other cities in Canada. It really helps reduce unnecessary waste & will force more people to recycle. (I still see 6 bags of garbage every week from some households even after the blue bins were introduced. I bet over 75% of those garbage bags are full of recyclable items.) I still feel that we are totally backwards in this aspect: unlimited garbage, but limit recycling to whatever fits in the bin? What kind of concept is that??? Oh Calgary, we have much to learn from our other Canadian cities.

  2. This is great news!! We have some idiots across the alley who let their cats out all of the time and they are CONSTANTLY ripping open our garbage bags!

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  4. It is wonderful! I hear you Lien. I see people in our neighbourhood that don't ever use their blue bins. They sit out beside their garage or in the alley and never get used. They sit there collecting dust. What a waste!

    Melaina, I'm always pulling the dogs away from ripped open garbage bags. I hate walking them on Thursdays cause there is always some sort of food or bones they desparately want to get at.

    All hail the Black Bins!