January 22nd, 2021

Garbage collection policy defies common sense

By Letter to the Editor on September 25, 2020.

Usually, when the City administration comes up with a proposal that defies common sense and causes needless and continuing problems for thousands of citizens, the mayor and council perform their duty as elected officials and overrule the bureaucrats. In the case of the new “one size fits all” garbage collection policy, the mayor and councillors are missing in action.

The bureaucrats should have been told at the outset that there are certain obvious realities that stem from urban planning and design. The older and some of the newer areas of the city were designed and built with back alleys. One of the main purposes of these alleys was for garbage collection. Often in these areas there are no front driveways, an important factor in street garbage collection. And there are often sloped lawns to go down and boulevards to cross before reaching the street. Not to mention all the parked cars because there are few driveways. Street garbage collection was never envisaged.

Some of the newer areas of the city were designed specifically not to have back alleys. Therefore, garbage collection from the street was incorporated into the urban planning and street design. This is not an issue that pits one neighbourhood against another. It is an issue of two very different layouts requiring two very different approaches.

The excuses offered for this need to drastically change policy mainly hinge upon garbage truck driver safety issues (which, if they had any air of reality, would be important) and a few almost amusing add-ons. The farcical nature of these “needs” was fully exposed at a very well-attended public meeting last fall.

There are thousands of citizens in this city who are going to be reminded once a week from now until the next election who it is that has caused them to have this needless and aggravating problem.

Robin Dann


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This City coucil rarely if at all overrides administrations questionable or quite frankly bad decisions. Add my voice to the group that opposes this decision.

Citi Zen

Very well spoken, Robin. I think this may have to become an election issue in order to see a common sense solution. There needs to be some serious changes in administration at City Hall.

Citi Zen

I think possibly that CBC “Go Public” might have some interest in this?


The problem is the mayor and council will not over over rule the thing they have approved I refer you to Bylaw 6146 and on ;
The PURPOSE of the bylaw is not properly stated to meet the legal requirements set down by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Refer to bylaw 6146 Division 2 – Administration
Delegation: “Quote”
8 Council hereby delegates all powers stipulated by this Bylaw to be exercised by the City and all necessary authority to exercise those powers to the Engineer, excluding the power to set public utility rates or enact bylaws. This bylaw delegates all the powers under the bylaw except setting rates to the Engineer who is the City’s Infrastructure Services Director, this position is Doug Hawkins. The Council only reserves the power to set utility rates .All other powers are delegated to the Engineer. The responsibilities of the Engineer went from 6 in the old waste bylaw to 20in the new waste bylaw.
9 a) determines methods of collection, processing services and disposal to be provided by the City,
c) designate the area for provision of waste services.
City council can only direct The City Manager or a request to amend the Bylaw or look to Supreme Court decisions on municipalities .


Lethbridge’s Bylaws are the lowest authority laws and as such are debatable, negotiable and not enforceable. This was stated by our senior Bylaws Enforcement Officer and our new City Manager in the Sept 27, 2020 Council Meeting. Quote them when you leave your bins in the traditional alley location. Complain to the City and media when they are not empty. CBC will love it.