Edmontonians say thank you to City waste collectors

Edmontonians have again found creative ways to say thank you to City waste collectors.

Fresh baked cookies, handmade signs, chalk drawings and social media messages of gratitude were set out and sent out on June 17, Waste Collector Appreciation Day, in Edmonton.  

“A lot of the work we do happens behind the scenes, and it feels great to hear from Edmontonians on how well we’re doing and what a difference we make in their community,” said Shawn Rudyk, Collections Supervisor. 

Green food scraps cart and black garbage cart with thank you notes.

At the City, there are three main categories of waste collectors to give thanks to. 

Residential waste collectors 

These collectors pick up your household waste directly from the front or the back of your home.

They start their days at 6:30 a.m and line up their trucks to receive their collection map for the day. Every morning, a pre-trip truck inspection must be done to ensure the assigned trucks are working properly. By 7 a.m. the residential collectors are on their beat. 

Waste collector picking up a garbage cart with truck’s automated arm.

Depending on the amount of waste they collect, the residential collectors may make mid-shift trips to the Edmonton Waste Management Centre to empty their truck before returning to their route. When finished, they routinely help colleagues on routes that need an extra hand—and arm.

Part of the job is to say hello to Edmontonians and to teach how the new carts are properly set out. 

“Our collectors are the ambassadors of the City’s waste program, talking to citizens and educating them about proper set-outs,” said Mordecai Baba, Director of Collections. 

Multi-unit waste collectors 

These collectors pick up waste from communal bins at condos and apartment buildings.

This team deals with tight spaces and alleyways. They face vehicles blocking collection areas. They encounter illegal items placed outside communal bins.

Residential communal bins.

Multi-unit waste collectors work longer hours than residential waste collectors each week to make sure they collect every bin in the city. They drive different trucks and need to lift different waste receptacles, a process that is very tricky at times. 

Assisted waste collectors

These collectors help Edmontonians  who have no helpers of their own to set out their household waste. Residents may sign up for different assisted waste options. Collectors may help put waste into carts, set carts out for collection and then return the carts the next day after being emptied.

Assisted waste collector setting out a garbage cart for resident.

For those who live in a condo or apartment, a collector may come directly to the door and take the waste down to communal bins.

Everyday ways to show your appreciation

Showing appreciation for waste collectors doesn’t have to be a once-a-year event.

Making sure recycling and yard waste bags are light and securely bagged, and ensuring carts are placed one metre apart are ways to show appreciation.

Taking the time to make sure collectors are able to do their job easily and safely is always appreciated. 

For a complete list of ways you can keep collectors safe, and show your appreciation for their hard work, visit the City’s  Waste Collection Safety Tips page.

A poetic thank you note from an Edmontonian

Editor’s note: the pic at the top of the post shows a chalk drawing thank you from an Edmonton family in north Edmonton on June 17, 2021.