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Back Alley and Front Collection

PLEASE NOTE:  Further adjustments from lane to front collection has been paused until the implementation of  the Residential Curbside Organics has been completed in 2023.

Depending on neighborhood design, cart collection occurs at the street-front or in back alleys.  Since 2017, we have been working with residents in areas of west and north Lethbridge to shift back alley cart pickups to front collection. Changes are now complete in all assessed west side neighborhoods and most of the assessed areas in north Lethbridge. 

Since the beginning of the project, we have assessed 7,862 households for back to front cart collection. Approximately 4,100 households met the criteria for this move and have been changed from back to front pick-up, even in areas where there is on-street parking.

There are many reasons why these changes occurred. We encourage you to read our in-depth report on the rationale and background: Project Status & Cost Benefit Analysis.

Rationale at a Glance
  • The Waste & Recycling department has been able to prevent waste utility rate increases between 2011 and 2019 by continually finding efficiencies in our collection processes. 
    • There was a slight increase in 2019 when the curbside recycling program was implemented  because it was a new program that saw increased costs for curbside collection, processing and marketing of the recyclable materials
    • There was no increase to 2021 waste and recycling utility rates and we continue to maintain the rates by continuing to find efficiencies through projects like this

Questions or Concerns?
Please call 311

Your feedback is tracked and reported in this project.

     Council Inquiries / Reports
Accordion Answer
Mobility Supports
We have a program for residents that are not able to physically move the cart to its collection location. 
Call 311 for more information.
  • Front collection creates efficiencies in how we collect your carts (i.e. faster collection, less backing up and turning around, less navigating in tight areas and around fences) allowing us to ensure we get everything collected on time and on schedule.
    • By moving collection to the front in areas where the change is possible, there has been an increase of 7% efficiency for recycling routes and 5.5% on garbage routes (See details on Project Status & Cost Benefit Analysis, table 6, page 19.)
  • Streets are a lot wider than back alleys and less awkward for large garbage trucks (35 feet and 24,000 kgs is a lot to maneuver!)  Less backing up and turning around means greater line of site for drivers, making it safer for pedestrians in the area.
  • Front collection is a much safer way for our trucks and employees to service your garbage cart. Weather conditions, parking issues and other objects in back alleys can make lanes impassable.  
  • Front collection ensures that residents take their cart back onto their property, which is a general requirement in our waste bylaw. This is an ongoing issue that occurs throughout our city.

Tips for Front Collection

Please ensure waste collection carts are placed out for pick up on collection day before 7 a.m.

Carts must be a minimum of 1.5 metres / 5 feet away from any obstacles (cars, trucks, vans, other carts).  If there are cars or trucks parked in front of your sidewalk, you can still put your garbage cart 1.5 metres away from the vehicle so your cart can be emptied safely.

How to Avoid Pick-up Hiccups


For more information

Report a problem like missed collection or mess in lane
Phone: 311 or 403-320-3111 (if outside of Lethbridge)
Online: Service request options