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What to do if your waste cart goes missing

Edmonton waste carts displayed in an undated photo. (CTV News Edmonton) Edmonton waste carts displayed in an undated photo. (CTV News Edmonton)
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Taking out the garbage isn't exactly top-of-mind in every Edmontonian's routine. Garbage is full, take out the trash, replace the bag, good to go.

However, what happens if your waste cart goes missing from your curbside?

CTV News Edmonton spoke with a representative from the City of Edmonton regarding curbside carts being stolen and what individuals can do if their carts go missing.

Q: Does the City of Edmonton keep track of the amount of curbside waste carts that go missing?

A: Yes. If a cart is missing, the resident can report it online at edmonton.ca/waste (click “Request cart maintenance or swap your garbage cart size”) or by calling 311. This will create a lost/stolen work order that can be tracked.

Q: How many curbside waste carts were reported stolen in 2023 and to-date in 2024?

A: In 2023, 2,619 work orders were created to replace lost/stolen carts. So far in 2024, there have been 916 work orders created.

Q: What is the total amount of curbside carts within the city?

A: There are currently 549,872 carts assigned to accounts.

Q: Is there a fee for a homeowner to replace a stolen cart?

A: Once the lost cart is reported online, the city will investigate the incident. In most cases, the city will cover the cost, but the city may charge the resident based on the results of its investigation.

Please note the city will not provide credits or refunds on accounts for lost carts.

Q: I see that each cart has a serial number and an embedded radio tag. Are there City of Edmonton employees who are tasked with retrieving stolen bins?

A: Yes, cart workers regularly recover lost or stolen carts using data pulled from 311 work orders.

As part of the Edmonton cart rollout, all the carts provided by the City of Edmonton are equipped with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. However, the RFID technology only functions as a scanner and is not linked to a particular resident’s address. The scanner helps keep track of the date, time and location where a cart was collected and tipped into a truck, and the date, time and location if a cart was not collected for a particular reason.

Q: What can a resident do if they find someone else’s cart?

A: Please check to see if there is an address written on the cart, as it may belong to a neighbour. If you cannot find the address, please write down the serial number of the cart and call 311. A 311 agent will use the serial number to identify the address it is assigned to. If it doesn’t belong to a neighbour, a city employee will come to collect it. Please leave the cart in an accessible and visible location near your house if the city is going to collect it.

For more information regarding waste management, visit the Edmonton Waste Management Centre website

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