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Crews working to pick up missed garbage, recycling

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Collection crews are working to empty garbage and recycling carts that were missed in last week's pickup.

Winnipeg solid waste manager Darryl Drohomerski said drivers are behind in their collection after they missed some homes in parts of the city on Thursday and Friday. Drohomerski said the city is getting more calls from residents complaining their garbage cart has been emptied, but their recycling carts haven't. A small number of residents reportedly did not have their garbage carts emptied, he said.

Pickups were missed in parts of Charleswood, Tuxedo and Transcona.

"The drivers said, 'I'm sure I got all this stuff,' and it turns out they didn't," Drohomerski said.

Last week, Winnipeg switched from manual garbage collection to automated garbage and recycling carts. The move is expected to improve the city's trash diversion rate and reduce the amount of waste Winnipeg sends to landfill.

Drohomerski said the city expected challenges in the first week of the new collection system. Part of the problem, he said, is there are new routes and new drivers who are unfamiliar with some of the collection areas.

Crews have also had difficulty emptying carts at homes where they are too close together. Drohomerski said the carts should be at least an arm's length apart, but many households have them touching.

That means collection crews have to get out of the truck and physically move the carts before they're emptied.

Residents such as Bernard Palmer said the changeover has caused a complete "disaster" in his neighbourhood.

"I've never seen a nightmare like this in my life in Westwood," he said Sunday afternoon.

Palmer said crews were supposed to pick up the neighbourhood's recyclables on Thursday. He has since phoned 311 four times, and rolled out his cart -- along with three of his neighbours' carts -- every morning, but no one has come back to empty them, he said.

Making matters worse, he said, is there is little room for the automated carts in the townhouse complex. He said there are 68 carts in one bay, making it nearly impossible to place the carts an arm's length from one another.

"People couldn't get into driveways, walkways," Palmer said. "There's not enough room in the circle. If an ambulance had to come or anything like that, it would be a nightmare."

Drohomerski said crews have been working late at night to try to finish all the collections but have fallen behind.

Residents who have not had their garbage picked up should leave their carts out and phone 311, he said.

"It's a new system. There are a lot of changes going on," Drohomerski said. "It'll definitely get better in the days to come."

History

Updated on Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 12:55 PM CDT: Changes to story about missed pickups.

1:34 PM: Updates with information from resident

4:05 PM: Adds photo of Palmer

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