With issues about the Kitimat garbage pickup system surfacing around town, solid waste collection and disposal workers have begun standing up for themselves. (District of Kitimat photo)

With issues about the Kitimat garbage pickup system surfacing around town, solid waste collection and disposal workers have begun standing up for themselves. (District of Kitimat photo)

Kitimat sanitation workers frustrated with bag, bin debate

Workers stated residents are coming out of their homes and verbally threatening garbage pickup teams

With issues about the Kitimat garbage pickup system surfacing around town, solid waste collection and disposal workers have begun standing up for themselves.

Although Kitimat bylaws state that all garbage going curbside should be put in a bin before going out, residents are claiming online the garbage pick-up teams use to allow them to put garbage bags curbside without placing them in a garbage bin.

One sanitation worker stated on social media that the issue is causing so much controversy between workers and residents, that residents are coming out of their places and verbally threatening garbage pickup teams when they leave bylaw notices on residents’ garbage.

“They’re lucky that I didn’t phone the police. All that the notice said was all garbage must be in a can. They stated, they’ve lived in this house for 27 years and this is the first notice that they’ve received. My goodness if that’s the way they act after getting one notice I would hate to work for a company that would have to send them a second one or even a final notice,” Kitimat waste disposal employee stated online.

Fed up with the ‘he say, she say’, Geier Waste Company workers are trying to resolve the complaints by highlighting the waste collection bylaws that have been put in place.

“For the people that said that they don’t have to use a can or that the district should’ve given them notice that they have to use one. The bylaw, before it was changed on May 1, stated all refuse containing an attractant must be in a can. This was the bylaw for years, so YES, the district has already told you and YES you have to use a can,” the garbage disposal employee stated.

As of May 1, 2021, for safety concerns set by WorksafeBC, the District of Kitimat, and Geier Waste company, the maximum weight of each container should be no more than 50 pounds per can. However, residents are arguing online that, they’ve put out heavier bags in the past with no issues or notices from workers, until recently.

“For everyone that says that we’re complaining that we don’t want to dump your overweight can that your wife, grandmother, child or even your dog can lift and that we should get someone else to do this job. If you want to try it yourself be my guest,” the garbage disposal employee stated.

“Here’s a little information for you before you start, our smallest route has 700 houses on it. If every house has a can out that’s 700 cans, and if they have their maximum amount of cans out that 2100 cans. Now that’s our smallest route, so why don’t you try that for a day and then let me know.”

Residents are also complaining that garbage pickup workers are bending the rules for family and friends. The garbage collection employee responded saying the only time he’s ever bent the rules is when someone is standing at the end of their driveway and understands that they’re over but politely asks if he can still take it away.

Trying to lighten up the tension between workers and residents, Emporium Builders Supplies has agreed to a 10 per cent discount on home garbage bins from June 3 to June 12.

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jacob.lubberts@northernsentinel.com