Garbage cart sales by the Town of Smithers have been somewhat disappointing, Deputy Mayor Jo Ann Groves said, considering it’s the final few months where a full discount would be received by the purchaser.
Late last year, council made the decision that in four year’s time it would be mandatory for residents of Smithers who want their garbage to be picked up to purchase an official garbage cart from the Town.
These carts fit the new garbage truck’s equipment that handles them, rather than the staff person, which is why the Director of Works and Operations Wilf Taekema, recommended the policy change.
But while council agreed to the switch, they also made the decision to halt the proceedings for four years, giving residents the option to receive full taxation credits were they to purchase their carts before 2011 taxation notices are sent out.
For each year, residents who purchased a new garbage cart would receive a $25 discount off their garbage collection fees, a credit discontinued in the 2015 taxation year.
With two sizes to choose from, a 65 gallon for $110, or a 35 gallon for $80, residents could completely recover the up-front cost of purchasing the 35 gallon and almost all of the cost for the 65 gallon if they were to purchase one this year.
Sales have been “a little slow,” Groves said. “We had hoped that sales would be brisk, but they’re not.”
Once council made their decision at the beginning of November cart purchases had gone up from figures at the beginning of the year, Taekema noted. While at the beginning of the year they sold 17, in November-December of 2010 that number went up to approximately 80.
April is typically the month where the most carts are purchased, he added, and cart purchases have been steadily increasing since they first started selling them in 2006. Then, they sold 20 of the carts, then in 2007 it was 25, in 2008 it was 100, they sold 98 in 2009, and then 166 in 2010.
“It’s been steadily increasing, but definitely it’s increasing now that they’ve made the decision,” Taekema said.
The town is planning on distributing some notices and bringing it to attention at the annual trade show to try and get some public exposure.
“This year is the optimum year,” Groves stressed. “Next year you can still get some savings, but past that you won’t get the savings.”