Winnipeg city crews are more than halfway through a city-wide transition from autobins to new garbage and recycling carts, officials say.
After a pilot project in two inner-city neighbourhoods last fall, the city began removing remaining autobins across the city last month.
The old garbage containers were a magnet for arson fires and illegal dumping.
About 400 to 500 of the dumpster-sized metal bins are being removed each day, and about 50 to 60 per cent of the bins have been removed to date, said Darryl Drohomerski, manager of the city's solid waste services.
Drohomerski said the Point Douglas neighbourhood, as well as parts of the city core and West End, have already made the switch to the new single-family rollout carts. The transition began in the Wolseley neighbourhood late last week, he added.
"We're delivering carts at a rate that's faster than any other city in Canada," Drohomerski told reporters on Tuesday.
"We knew when we were starting this off that it was going to be a lot of work, and it's exactly true. It's a lot of work."
Roughly 2,300 autobins remain throughout the city, but Drohomerski said they should all be removed within the next week or so.
But even after the autobins are gone, crews will still have more work ahead of them, Drohomerski said.
"After having these bins in the lanes for 15 to 17 years, we knew that there would be material under them, behind them and stuff, so it's just part of cleaning up that part," he said.
Drohomerski said it will cost about $250,000 to remove the autobins and clean up the lanes were they used to be located.
The old bins are being sold to a scrap metal company that will recycle the metal, he added.
The city is also phasing in a new garbage and recycling collection cycle, and Drohomerski said the entire city should be switched over by Oct. 1.
Drohomerski acknowledged that some illegal dumping has taken place in recent weeks, as people try to dispose of their junk in the larger autobins before they are replaced by the smaller carts.
However, Drohomerski said the amount of illegal dumping is starting to go down, as the city replaces more autobins with the carts.
The switch from autobins to garbage carts is part of the city's garbage and recycling master plan, which also includes plans for more composting.