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Dumpster ban stalled

As Seattle started hauling away its dumpsters yesterday, a process thatis expected to take about a week, one Vancouverite is wondering what’sbecome of our city’s plan to do away with street bins.

As Seattle started hauling away its dumpsters yesterday, a process that is expected to take about a week, one Vancouverite is wondering what’s become of our city’s plan to do away with street bins.

Annette O’Sea, with the Yaletown Business Improvement Association, said dumpsters are an unsightly haven for criminal activity, and in Yaletown take up valuable parking space.

In 2007, city council unanimously voted to ban dumpsters, but O’Sea said the project has stalled under the new council.

“The bylaw has been passed. We just need this council to say it’s time to do it,” she said.

“There are better solutions, we just need to use them.”

Chris Martin, president of CleanScapes, which started Seattle’s program to replace commercial dumpsters with prepaid trash bags, said the cost to taxpayers is the same, while safety and aesthetics instantly improve.

“After being on the program for a year or so, people tend to reduce the amount of waste they’re generating by 17 to 20 per cent,” he said.

Theresa Beer, a spokesperson for the City of Vancouver, said council is waiting for business improvement associations to report on what disposal system is most suitable for this city.

She said Vancouver differs from Seattle in that bins here are the property of building owners — not the city — and it’s their responsibility to find a contractor equipped to do the kind of collections being done in Seattle.