Sandycove Acres resident Bill Brocklebank foresees a big problem when it comes to the County of Simcoe’s new automated garbage carts, which officially roll out Nov. 1. 

Residents will receive three universal carts — a 360-litre cart for recycling, a 240-litre cart for garbage, and a 120-litre cart for organics — which are emptied using a mechanical arm on the collection vehicle.

The cart sizes were chosen based on the average household waste needs in the county.

Brocklebank, 74, said those sizes are overkill for the waste he and his wife generate. 

“I get half a garbage bag every two weeks. I could put four people’s garbage in to fill one of them up,” he said. 

Brocklebank is also worried about storing the carts and manoeuvring them in the winter. Right now, he and many other residents store their garbage bins in small deck boxes to keep their homes in line with community standards. 

“I don’t know where they expect me to put these three bins. In front of my house so you can look at them when you drive by?” Brocklebank said. “How do you expect 70-year-olds to drag these bins out?”

John Bicknell, 79, president of the Sandycove Acres Homeowners Association, said one of the purposes of the retirement community is for people to be able to age in place. 

“It means a compromise of what people are able to do,” he said. 

Parkbridge’s property manager for Sandycove Acres said they have similar concerns. 

“We agree with the residents here that they are too large (and) there are not many places to put them,” said Stephen Parsons. 

According to County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell, the new automated carts are used across North America and Europe and will be a great improvement over the current system. 

“We are quite confident, based on discussions that we had, the research that we had, that folks are going to find the carts to be a much better solution to waste management,” he said. 

Cornell said the carts’ ergonomic features will make them easy to lean and wheel to the road, the extra capacity will help with the county’s diversion rates, and lids will cut down on windblown litter in ditches and on roadways.

Households have started receiving the new carts, but the county also has a pilot project in New Tecumseth, which will give condo owners in Green Briar/Briar Hill an option for smaller carts.

Cornell said that’s not possible at this time. 

“From a logistical point of view and our ordering, that would not be manageable,” he said, adding he’d like to see the results from the pilot project first. 

There will be a formal feedback survey after deployment of the new carts, Cornell said.

“If the program needs adjustment, then that’ll be up to council to decide when and how we move forward,” he said.

For more information about the new system, visit .

STORY BEHIND THE STORY: We heard Sandycove Acres residents had concerns about the new garbage carts through County of Simcoe council, so we reached out to learn more and asked the county to address their concerns.