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Expect to receive one of these soon (4 photos)

Friday, August 02, 2013   by: Darren Taylor

They’re grey and blue with wheels, and one will soon be coming to the end of your driveway.

Green For Life Environmental (GFL) started delivering new recycling bins to Sault Ste. Marie residences Monday.

GFL (formerly Green Circle Environmental) ordered 26,000 of the bins and hopes to have them all delivered to Sault Ste. Marie homes by August 31.

GFL management told residents may keep their old blue and yellow boxes for storage, or feel free to drop them off at their facility at 86 Sackville Road.

GFL emphasized blue and yellow boxes filled with material will no longer be accepted at curbside once you have received your new bin. 

The cost to GFL for the 26,000 bins, along with new, bright green collection trucks with automated arms was about $3 million, GFL Health and Safety Supervisor Randy Roy told us.

The bins were purchased from IPL Inc., a Saint-Damien, Quebec company that manufactures a wide range of molded plastic containers.

The bins are divided into two halves, with each half clearly labeled with instructions as to what types of material go into which half.

Roy told us: “We found the blue and yellow boxes were too small and people were still throwing a lot of material in the garbage, so this gives people a lot more space for material and preserves the life of the City landfill.”

The life expectancy of the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s landfill is currently estimated to be another eight years.

GFL has a 10-year contract with the City of Sault Ste. Marie for collection of recyclable material.

How easy will the bins be for seniors to handle?

“These are lighter and easy to navigate. Once you get them tipped back they’re easy to maneouvre,” Roy said. “Seniors can now just tip the bin back and roll it.  We know it’s going to be easier to get to the curb.”

What if you miss a collection day (especially if, during the winter months, you wake up to find your driveway buried in snow and can’t wheel your bin to the curb)?

While urging people to make an effort to leave the bins out for collection when they are half full, Roy said: “The bins are big enough so that you don’t have to put it out every week, so if you miss a week because of bad weather it’s not going to create any big issues.”

“You can put your bin out the following week,” Roy said, adding seniors who live alone might use the bins once every three or four weeks. 

The new, wheeled containers will be a benefit to GFL workers, Roy said.

“The guys lifting the blue and yellow boxes were doing 2400 to 3000 rotations every day lifting the boxes up and over.”

“It was becoming an issue with injuries to shoulders as well as back and knee injuries.”

The new GFL collection trucks with their automated arms should solve those problems, Roy told us.

“Except for bundled cardboard, the drivers won’t have to leave the trucks.”

Residents should keep one important thing in mind.

Roy said: “We need enough space at the curb.”

“A bin can’t be near parked cars, telephone poles or overhanging trees.”

“We need at least three feet on each side of it. That’s important to remember,” Roy told us.

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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
brittz 8/2/2013 8:46:39 AM Report

welcome to the modern world SSM. Finally following suit with other cities, better that we copy their more responsible ideas.
brittz 8/2/2013 8:46:52 AM Report

welcome to the modern world SSM. Finally following suit with other cities, better that we copy their more responsible ideas.
sunnie 8/2/2013 8:48:11 AM Report

I love these new bins. I won't have to put it out every week. :)
friendly 8/2/2013 9:15:28 AM Report

It would be nice if the company could put a video on showing the truck picking up and emptying a bin from the curb. This way people can see exactly how much room this will take. (Please use a driveway without much space, like Bruce Street area) This way we can all figure out how to put these out correctly from the start.
scottstewy123 8/2/2013 9:33:04 AM Report

Wait till winter. We will see how many get destroyed by snow plows
wildswing 8/2/2013 9:35:51 AM Report

The guy who delivered mine said not to use it because all the trucks aren't ready yet. He also said they are way behind delivering the bins because they only have 1 truck and 3 or 4 guys.

According to the story I should have my stuff out today in the new bin. Sorry, but they're still using the old truck for pick up. I'm still using the old boxes until I hear otherwise.

One of the guys described how the truck drivers will still have to get out of the truck to move the new bins into position because the arms on the trucks do not articulate enough.
asp 8/2/2013 9:51:03 AM Report

They have been talking about it for weeks, just get with it.
lada 8/2/2013 9:57:59 AM Report

I like these bins. Mainly because luckily, I have a decent sized driveway and own a snow-blower.

I cannot understand how many homes in this city are going to be able to put these at the end of their driveways, or get them there, with the minimal room they have already - some barely fit their vehicles! and these new bins require 3 feet on the sides for clearance? so how do we place our garbage bins out too... next to them? on the other side of the driveway? are we getting garbage bins too? This would be nice as the seagulls and crows wouldn't be able to destroy the bags. And why not... wouldn't this benefit these workers too?

I do not agree with the 'it'll be easier for seniors' bit. Now I don't want to equate senior with inability by any means, but for some, strength, energy, mobility, ect., is being an issue. I know they wont have to bend, lift, and carry, but still, tipping back and pushing might not be all that easy for all. I hope we all have good neighbours! This concerns me too, not just for seniors but for everyone during the winter... and I disagree with the 'if you miss a week its no big deal' because the fuller it gets the harder it will be to get to the curb, or tip back, for some. Add snow... yikes.

Everyone is going to have to make sure their driveways are shoveled and maintained well in the winter months. I cannot see these being easy to wheel through snow, and for some through tight spaces. This leads me to be concerned about the snow banks!... I hope the city does a good job in keeping those snow banks down and out of people's driveways! Where is the snow going to go... its hard enough sometimes finding a place to throw the snow to make room for the garbage/blue yellow bins and to fit your vehicle to go in/out. On a positive note, I assume these bins won't get placed on top the snow-banks which is safer for the workers and the roads.

I think they are great if they reduce the amount of impact it has on the workers. Definitely a plus. I hope they are excited about the bins and it truly does make their jobs easier. I also hope it makes people recycle more.

Now I didn't research how these bins work... but how is the materials we sort out each week going to remain sorted when it is dumped in the truck? Lol... I'm sure it will have some instructions... but a video could be good as mentioned in another comment. Obviously, they've figure this out when they spent the 3 million on the bins...I'm just curious and will research that for my own information.

Also, what happens when a wheel breaks. I'm sure these bins are tested for durability and are used elsewhere successfully, but if a wheel falls off or a lid breaks... who is going to fix this? will someone fix/replace? If a wheel is broken,It is going to be very difficult to pull or drag these much larger bins to the curbs. Its not like people are going to be able to pick these up and carry them.

Although I might not sound like it... I do like the bins. I hope they are worth the crazy price tag and are actually beneficial in the various ways as hoped. Excited to get one for my household to test it out...and to try out my neighbour's too.

Haha... I previewed this and didn't realize I had typed out so much. Thanks for reading if you made it to the end... I guess having this cold and the rain has made me... opinionated? Have a great day SSM!
seen_your 8/2/2013 10:04:04 AM Report

Would be nice if Ontario would be like B.C. and make retailers give us back our deposits we make on plastic bottles and aluminum cans. We pay a deposit on those things and we are supposed to be able to bring them back to the store to get 10 cents back, just like beer bottles. Why we are not allowed to do that is beyond me.
crashed13 8/2/2013 10:06:59 AM Report

It will not work for people who have their driveways in the rear of the house off of a laneways and the front street parking is not in there control.

That's what we have. I park in the back yard from a lane and most of the time it's bumper to bumper parking down the street in front of the house.
Then what? I just put it in the middle of the street or are they going to tow the parked cars away?
Wicket 8/2/2013 10:07:50 AM Report

what happens when there are cars parked on the road on each side of the driveway, how close to the curb does the truck have to be?
Where are people going to keep these unsightly huge contraptions? I, personally, do not want one sitting against the house at the side door, so maybe I will just stop recycling (nah, can't do that). Currently, our blue/yellow bins sit comfortably under each end of the barbeque and are hidden by the cover.
It will be interesting to see statistics in a couple of months as to the usage, easier than carrying the old bins, but not so easy to find a spot to keep it.
janetleigha 8/2/2013 10:08:52 AM Report

Let me see if I have this correct. We have to put out the bin before 730 am & have it placed at least 3 feet from any obstructions. Yeah right. This might work where they get no snow. Most people don't start work until after 730 am, so are we supposed to put it out and if the truck hasn't picked up the bin by the time we leave for work, do we move it, pull our vehicle onto the street than put the bin back? I can see this idea detering people from recycling instead of encouraging it. Another bright idea for a northern Ontario city, especially in the Soo where we have some very narrow streets that get narrower in the winter.

phantom 8/2/2013 10:10:24 AM Report

And to add...what about people living in upstairs apt buildings?...They going to have to drag these up and down stairs? What if ya don't have a driveway and it's only curbside pickup where people are allowed to park their vehicles on the road? Hmmm...just wondering?
wildswing 8/2/2013 10:21:55 AM Report

Sorry. My bad. Scratch what I said earlier. I thought I saw one of the existing trucks go by this morning. Our pickup just happened. It was one of the new trucks. The driver picked up my old bins but said I can start using the new one right away.
keeper 8/2/2013 10:25:22 AM Report

Looking at the pictures, they will now not take lids or caps.....more for the landfill.
Rhinoman 8/2/2013 10:27:56 AM Report

I don't have a driveway in the front of my home where garbage and recycling are picked up. During the winter months, my neighbors and I typically have to balance our items precariously on top of the snowbanks between the sidewalk and the road. These new bins are tall enough that this will no longer be a safe option considering how high the snow banks can can get. Shall we now just block the sidewalk with the new bins? Will the truck be able to reach over the snow bank to retrieve the bin from the sidewalk? Are we expected to now shovel 8+ feet worth of space between the road and the sidewalk and carry each shovel full over the sidewalk and into our yards?

I'm not out to knock the new bins, because they generally sound like a better alternative to the blue/yellow boxes. But I know this is going to create some problems for some people. If I want to be the good citizen and shovel the needed space for these bins, it'll surely add additional time and stress to my regular shoveling routine. Physically, I'm young and in shape enough that I can handle this added burden, but I can assure you that many of my neighbors can't and won't.

I'm curious to see how this plays out in my neighborhood.
crashed13 8/2/2013 10:30:39 AM Report

@ Phantom ,
That is going to happen a lot.
Is the garbage truck going to call tow trucks so they can get at the containers on the curb?

Another option is just give up recycling, Just buy those super sized garage bags and you can get everything in even with the 2 bag limit.

Its what I will do the first time they drive by my house without a pick up because some stranger parked on the street in front and they did not have the room.
Sunday21 8/2/2013 10:36:22 AM Report

I do appreciate all the pro and con comments. I am not a senior but circumstances do not allow me to use these huge containers. Storing space is a conflict along with capability to move/drag/pull/shove it to the designated curb location. Winter may be an issue depending of course on the snow fall and then our streets do have issues with snow bank removal. So I say thanks but no thanks to these new containers ... the blue and yellow boxes are much easier to use/carry/store/handle. I have no other choice but to go back to putting my garbage together ... very, very sad to say. I hope I number in the "few" but recycling is over for me.
LRP 8/2/2013 10:39:30 AM Report

26000 bins with 2 grammatical errors printed on EACH bin.
There is no such word as towards!!! A common spoken error, but please, not in the written word.

Point the arrow TOWARD the street.
How does one pluralize 'toward'? Does one move toward and toward and toward over and over again?
Is that towarding as well?
Big Jim 8/2/2013 10:47:57 AM Report

Timmins have been using these for years now. They even have one for your house-hold garbage. More capacity and very convenient. Nice system.
D0BBER 8/2/2013 11:01:51 AM Report

@ "OMG these will never work in winter because of the snow banks"

Im going to throw this crazy little idea out there for the hell of it, how about using the shovel/snow blower to clear a spot !! I really shouldn't have to point out the obvious.

These new bins may not fit everyones exact needs, but its the new system and an advancement from the old, its called progress. Most of the whiners are just looking for something to complain about .. if life doesnt fit your unique little scenario then thats too bad your situation is your problem, deal with it !!

BTW why would anyone want to drag that huge box to an upstairs apt ?? Wouldnt the better idea be to carry the recycling down instead !!
crashed13 8/2/2013 11:19:07 AM Report

@ Dobber
"Im going to throw this crazy little idea out there for the hell of it, how about using the shovel/snow blower to clear a spot !! I really shouldn't have to point out the obvious"

Say you have no front drive way and people park down the street alone the curb in front of your street,then what?

As it is now the guy has to walk between parked cars to get my blue/yellow box as it is.
Whats he going to do now, knock at all the doors to find and ask people to move their cars? Not likely.
They do not even plow the sidewalk on my side of the street let alone remove snow banks.
I can,t tell people not to park in front of my house on garbage day,its a public street.
Newsjunkie 8/2/2013 11:20:44 AM Report

We did not receive our bin yesterday but our neighbours across the street did. Apparently they are only delivering to houses on the North Side of the streets in our neighbourhood this week. For a "green initiative" it seems a big waste of gasoline to deliver on every street twice! Just throwing it out there.

For those worried about their ability to move the bins... perhaps a neighbour who is already putting their bin at the curb would let you empty your blue/yellow boxes into it on garbage day? Never hurts to ask...
Vicci 8/2/2013 11:25:31 AM Report

I foresee a lot more No Parking signs coming out to allow these trucks to pick up recycle carts, Bretton road from Pine to Elizabeth comes to mind. Bottom line, some people will just put recyclables into regular garbage to avoid the pitfalls with this new system, others will use these carts effectively and increase their recycle output to the curb. I don't expect any of the negative aspects of this new recycle collection method to come out from the city/contractor's end until we are well into it and the complaints come in. Then we will see the "user error" explanations. For me "it no matter", I'll retire my wagon and replace it with the cart.
Newsjunkie 8/2/2013 11:25:54 AM Report

Perhaps the city will need to pass a NEW bylaw prohibiting parking on city streets during designated garbage pickup days in each neighbourhood? That would be fun!
phantom 8/2/2013 11:26:05 AM Report really? of course ya have to bring it full down the stairs,but then ya have to drag this monster Back up and have a place to store/use it until next time! Where should people store it in apt buildings?..In their kitchen or living rooms!
KyleJ 8/2/2013 11:43:16 AM Report

@keeper You do realize that bottle caps were never supposed to be recycled.....
bonnie&Clyde 8/2/2013 11:47:03 AM Report

I guess Sault Ste Marie is incapable of making their own. We always outsource which is why this city is dying. Out of town construction crews get the biggest bids and spend very little in our local economy. Thank you for the new bins tho it just would have been nice to create some local jobs with this project even if they were temporary
crashed13 8/2/2013 11:47:41 AM Report

I,ll see how it works.
I have a duplex and between me and my tenant we only put one bag each at the road even though were allowed 4.
Worst comes to worst I can just put everything in the bags and use up the 4 bag limit.
phantom 8/2/2013 12:02:02 PM Report

@crashed...yup I agree,try it and see what happens. But I think this is going to discourage some from recycling like you said and putting out more in their garbage. Ahhh progress! LOL!
crashed13 8/2/2013 12:43:39 PM Report

New "No parking" signs on trash days would be the only hope on our street with rear driveways.
Other than that the truck driver may have to get out of the truck and man handle the old style boxes where the new large box that need mechanical arms from a truck to empty it is just going to be impossible to work, space wise.

I,m sure that will be in many cases especially winter.
ehbcd2 8/2/2013 12:57:21 PM Report

Seen this truck at work, the driver still had to get out and move the bins into position. I don't see how this is any better than what we had, but it sure will cost us more in taxes.
D0BBER 8/2/2013 1:08:28 PM Report

If you life in an apt building you likely wont be getting one, its the landlords responsibility to provide recycling facilities for its tenants. You dont see hundreds of blue and yellow boxes outside the highrises on MacDonald ave do you !!

As for the collectors having to walk over and get your bin .. so what .. you do your job and get it to the curb let them do their job and collect it !!
phantom 8/2/2013 1:27:17 PM Report

@Dobber...No shit sherlock!...not talking about the large multi unit complexes that take care of their tenants recycling, but the other privately owned apt buildings in town that only have 2-6+ apts in them that live up stairs,no elevator and no place to store these things. My point is they should be able to use the blue/yellow boxes where the new ones will not be practical!
amazed 8/2/2013 2:20:03 PM Report

I received mine a couple of days ago and they picked it up yesterday with no obvious problems. I also noticed the other trucks out picking up the yellow & blue box bins.
Zap 8/2/2013 3:10:40 PM Report

The cost for Bins,Fuel,truck Maintenance,Wage ect. What a scam.
caper 8/2/2013 3:12:11 PM Report

All of the readers have made very responsible comments. We have our bin already and let me say that I can understand the reasons on behalf of the workers but now the problem has been transferred to the residents, not to all, but to, I believe a good number.

The challenges will be in the storing, handling and positioning on the curb....there are many that cannot meet these challenges my elderly mom.

She and for that matter myself will stop recycling due to some of these problems.

IF ONLY THESE BINS WERE SMALLER ,say two thirds the size, then they would have been more manageable.

Zap 8/2/2013 3:13:06 PM Report

Its costing more than the return for a few scraps. It would be nice if they could put as much energy into helping the homeless as they do for picking up scrap.
D0BBER 8/2/2013 3:35:15 PM Report

You people do know you dont HAVE to use the boxes right, you can choose to take your recycling to a recycling drop off if the pickup at your door is too inconvenient !!

All this for recycling, what are you people going to do when we actually can recycle all of our recyclables .. or how about when garbage switches to the same fully automated method of pickup ??
FunMan 8/2/2013 3:51:27 PM Report

You would think that they would have given us the option of collecting our blue/yellow boxes, so that we all don't have to drive up to Sackville to get rid of them. Not very green when you have many folks driving up to Sackvulle when they could have just taken them away.
Newsjunkie 8/2/2013 3:59:56 PM Report

I don't understand why anyone would be complaining about taking these things up a flight of stairs. They are not meant to go inside the house. Duplex/Triplex dwellers should have no problem doing as they've always done... fill your yellow/blue boxes and bring them down for garbage day only instead of dropping them at the curb, dump them into the big bin outside and let the landlord roll it out or take turns with the other tenants! I don't see what the big deal is here. They will only drop one per house, duplex or not.
D0BBER 8/2/2013 4:00:55 PM Report

"GFL management told residents may keep their old blue and yellow boxes for storage, or feel free to drop them off at their facility at 86 Sackville Road."

Its right there .. they are yours, keep it/give it back/ collect enough and build a cool new fort if you like.
geterdun 8/2/2013 5:36:27 PM Report

I for one will be leaving this box on the curb . I will not be lugging it back and forth from my house and i am sure many others will do the same. these boxes will get detroyed in the winter by plow trucks and graders. who is going to pay to replace them?? also people who live in apartments are not going to care if they get picked up or not the responsibility will be the ladndlords right?? what about those who live on Queen west and other streets were there is no other parking ?there are cars parked on these roads year round they will never get theirs picked up.........The city will have to have a no parking by -law on garbage day and if you park there you will get towed.. I can just imagine the calls that the city will recieve they will need to hire someone to answer all the calls..This new system will work for some but wont work for many...I think you will see an increase in regular garbage going to the landfill as many will just not bother with all these new rules and way to big boxes.clearly nobody reseached this system prior to emplementing it...cant wait to see these boxes laying all over the roads and stuck in snow banks.should be fun.LOL ten year contract what exactly did this cost us as tax payers....GFL! stands for good freaking luck !!!!!LOL......
Working Man 8/2/2013 6:59:12 PM Report

I was going to rant about how the workers basically don't want to do anything but drive...

But then again, it is a good idea. It is a good idea, but also somewhat a waste of money, depending on how old their old trucks are and depending if it's going to make their job faster(then again, we'll be paying their full salary regardless).

Now if they would have collections once every 2 weeks or so for residential houses and once per week for apartment buildings, considering the bin is 3 times the size, as well as lay some workers off, then they could save money to pay for all those bins and new trucks.

As for leaving the bins away from obstructions. That does sound kinda ridiculous. I guess they want people to leave it in the center of our driveways.
Working Man 8/2/2013 7:01:31 PM Report


considering the worker is capable of getting out of the truck and moving it 3 feet sideways anyway....
tbbs 8/3/2013 8:59:49 PM Report

i cam't wait!! so tired of those pathetic little boxes and the wind blowing garbage all over the place, this will hopefully cut down on that a bit....
trj 8/5/2013 11:22:57 AM Report

Yes ttbs i agree and do not see what the big deal is. Sure you need room to store and at curbside but you need that now don.t you? Also it should be easier to wheel/drag not carry as we do now. These bigger bins will not go out every week but when full and the paper will be dry not to mention that hopefully they will not get tipped and the contents scattered around as this is what is happening now. Every week you see on some streets paper and cans everywhere. Hope they come out with a garbage container that ALL should be using and try to keep litter in its place . Green garbage bags should be banned. Especially if putting out the night before (which we are not supposed to do). Lets all do our bit and help keep this city cleaner. Tourists and visitors sure get a disgrace-able eyeful seeing garbage strewn about on Wellington and Cathcart/Albert on pickup day along the way to the bridge.Just saying.
ShawnM 8/7/2013 6:35:05 PM Report

These things are way too big. It no longer fits in my garage where the old boxes did because its way too tall now. To make it fit I will have to move everything around. I am already liking the old boxes better.
probie 8/8/2013 1:32:59 PM Report

Bitch Bitch Bitch Bitch, well for the most part anyways. Why is it that it can work in every other city in North America but when the Soo gets something new everybody Bitches and whines.I think should not have a comment section then the people that are on here bitching every day at every article will go get a job and reduce our unemployment stats. lol have fun Bitching bout my simple comment loosers!!!!!
mixerman55 8/31/2013 8:04:29 AM Report

I will have no problem moving these bins to the curb, but yes some people will, my concern is did they really think this over, what about freezing rain the lids wont open and being plastic and in cold weather they will break when forced to open, the wheels will freeze up so you will be dragging these things out to the curb. yes I can see the plow playing havoc to the bins as well.But hey thats what we got just live with it, don't want to recycle don't but it might cost you in extra bags or 10.00 dollar dump runs. they got you either way lol just play their game the cost of fixing broken parts or bins will tally up quickly and we will probably be hit for the cost of replacing them. no end solution.
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