I believe the following collective actions will improve the city's efficiency and cost-effectiveness for waste removal:
a. Get rid of the bins. Yes, the black, blue, and green bins. Not only will this save resident’s money when these bins need to be replaced, but they will also discourage residents (or passer-by’s) from carelessly placing waste/organic/recyclables into the inappropriate bins because it is not a monitored system. In turn, this will save time and money for those who would need to sort through the waste at the recycling facilities.
b. Implement the use of specialized garbage bags that would only be used for waste. (In Taipei, these bags are biodegradable and can only be purchased at specified locations.) By implementing this system, this would decrease the use of plastic bags and promote the proper disposal of waste/organics/recyclables. In turn this reduces the quantity of waste going to the landfills because for most households most waste is either organics or recyclables anyways.
c. Get rid of public garbage bins in neighborhoods. (Garbage bins should still be available in high traffic areas such as downtown, parks, transit stations etc.) This will save money because these garbages will not need to be collected by civil servants in these areas and promotes proper waste disposal if the waste is taken home or to a ‘monitored’ waste disposal site such as a business.
d. With the money saved from making the above changes, Calgary should be able to afford to have a monitored garbage truck operator route through each neighborhood a few times a week. (This is also a good way to get neighbors out and talking with each other while they wait for the garbage truck to arrive.)