To Bin or not to Bin…That is the Question

Ron Bolin: March 31, 2018

The following email exchange relates to the issue of dealing with the new solid waste bins which are very problematic for various citizens and their locations even though they do NOT provide a full and complete service for standard household items.

I have not had any further response as yet either from Mr. Sims or from the Mayor or Councillors or other Staff to whom my last request was sent.  In order to understand the questions from the beginning, you may wish to start with reading the original request at the bottom of this post and work up to my last question to Mr. Sims.

If you or your terrain or street circumstances make it difficult or impossible to deal with the new bins, I believe that you will be interested in his response which will be added to this post when it is received.


Hi Bill:  Wed 3/28/2018

Thanks for the prompt response. But shouldn’t the question of special needs be cleared up before more bins are delivered to those who have difficulties in dealing with the serious problems for some householders which have been added by the bins ?

This Monday really hit us… Our first waste pickup since the NRE closed… The only fortunate part is that we DON’T have the new bins yet….

Our practice has been to take our “garbage” to the street in a plastic bag –no animal problems as there was no food waste in it. We compost the food scraps.

Paper towels used in food prep and cleanup went to the curb in the old smaller plastic bin, which, because of our location was still difficult, gets more difficult with time, and about the design of which we complained to no response when they came out,

ALL the rest was put into the back of the car in a yellow bag for cans and plastic, another yellow bag for printed paper and a blue bag for newspapers. Cardboard, glass, batteries, light bulbs, electrical detritus, no longer wanted or needed but still useful items, and fee return bottles, etc. were kept separate and all taken to the NRE without having to scale the driveway or find a spot for multiple bins on our ditch lined street. At the NRE it was distributed to its appropriate area and I was satisfied, rightly or wrongly, to consider that the price that might be gained from the salable items and the fee return bottles covered the cost of the hard to dispose items. All this required only one trip to the NRE and did not demand getting 80 lbs. of bins up and down our driveway.

Perhaps you can tell us how we can continue this kind of service with one of the other sites which are proclaimed, but which citizens are left to their own devices to find. The large heavy bins which you would like to deliver to us are really not feasible in our environment and the addition of 80 pounds of bins per service cycle to our household load is really not doable. You have used injuries to your presumably younger and well fit pick up staff as the reason why the new bins were needed. It appears that injuries to the not-so-fit, aged, or perhaps otherwise disabled householders and the environmental difficulties which many face in a town which is not level and does not have curbs and sidewalks in many areas got no considered attention.

Despite the fact that the Nanaimo Regional District is legislatively responsible for Solid Waste, the City of Nanaimo has made household Solid Waste a problem for the householders under its governance. .Attention to a complete household solid waste system for all typical household items is needed now.

The issue of how disadvantaged householders are to be treated under the new bin regime demands clarification now before further problems arise.

Ron Bolin

From: Bill Sims []
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 9:21 AM
To: Ron Bolin
Cc: Sheila Gurrie; Charlotte Davis
Subject: RE: Garbage/Recycling Carry-Out Service

Hi Ron,
We have put together criteria as part of the planning for rolling out the second phase of automated collection – still to be presented.

Our primary focus will be on the cart delivery and getting the program started. Once this gets off the ground, we’ll look at formalizing the service. Likely in the late summer/early fall.



From: Ron Bolin <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 9:50 PM
To: Bill Sims <>
Cc: Tracy Samra <>; Sheila Gurrie <>
Subject: RE: Garbage/Recycling Carry-Out Service

Hi Bill:

Did the Written Policy on this matter mentioned in your email of over two months ago ever get done? The statement written here:

begs the issue…




From: Bill Sims []
Sent: Monday, January 22, 2018 9:38 AM
Cc: Tracy Samra; Sheila Gurrie
Subject: Garbage/Recycling Carry-Out Service

Good morning Ron,

I’m responding to your queries about criteria for determining eligibility for the service of carrying out garbage or recycling. A small number of properties have historically been provided this service; this is based on special circumstances, when there is no other option for the resident. There is currently no formalized criteria for eligibility for carry-out requests. Each request is assessed individually. In general, eligibility is based on medical circumstances, local conditions, availability of family, friends or neighbours to move receptacles to the street.

Going forward, a written policy may be developed for Council’s consideration, balancing provision of the service with operational needs and efficiency. It is expected it will include a more formal set of criteria, some form of agreement and a provision for regular review. This will help ensure more uniform fulfillment of requests. The limits of the ability of the organization to continue to provide the service would also be assessed. Presently, staff are able to handle it with minimal disruption to the drivers on their regular routes. If there is an increase, we would need to revisit how or if the service is continued.

We will be updating the Garbage/Recycling pages of the website with this information shortly.