Stettler residents trash town’s garbage pickup

Stettler residents are raising a stink about the town’s new garbage- pickup policy.

Stettler residents are raising a stink about the town’s new garbage- pickup policy.

Last week, the Town of Stettler asked residents to put their garbage “out front,” instead of in the back alleys, because of lane conditions inhibited by ice ruts.

While the abrupt change has angered outspoken residents, the town believes the change is effective.

“So far, it’s going really well,” said Melissa Robbins, the town’s director of operations.

She said that in the first three days of the new system, “only seven residents” called the town office to report that their garbage was missed.

The town moved to front pickup because of changing weather patterns that caused the garbage trucks to leave deep ruts in the lanes. Robbins said that causes cars “to bottom out.”

The response on the town’s Facebook page wasn’t positive.

More than 40 people commented on the garbage post on the Town of Stettler page, and most of those were complaints.

From saying they were “disgusted” to calling it “a fiasco,” residents weren’t taking this change quietly. And the same concerns were repeated.

“I see now that collection day has come and gone, that all my neighbours who do not have rolly bins may have justified concerns regarding cats and birds,” said Stettler resident Sandy Clark.

“And placement of the trash, considering there really is no good place to put it in the front.”

Other people brought forward concerns about garbage trucks blocking the streets and bins getting knocked over, and many suggested that the town should just plow the lanes.

“My bigger concern was with the town’s apathy regarding grading the laneways, as I have an 88-year-old disabled Second World War vet living in my home that requires I use the laneway to collect him at the back door to transport him to and from appointments,” Clark said.

Robbins, however, pointed out that the lanes have been plowed several times.

“Plowing laneways is very different from plowing streets,” she said.

When the town plows lanes, the plows leave “windrows” on either side of the lane, and they are running out of room with the amount of snow.

“The reason to switch from back to front was only because of the warm weather and to prevent rutting,” Robbins said.

The move is temporary.