Automated waste collection comes to Waterloo Region

Big changes are coming to Waterloo Region waste collection.

The council voted Wednesday night to award Emterra Environmental an eight-year contract for waste and green bin collection.

The company will use a new automated cart system, meaning people won’t manually pick up containers and bags to throw into trucks. Instead, trucks will lift and empty carts that will be delivered to residents.

The contract will cost taxpayers $285 million and will begin in 2026.

Bulky items, garden waste and Christmas trees will continue to be collected manually.

The council says the carts create less litter on windy days and better protection from pests and wildlife.

The new truck fleet will also use compressed natural gas instead of diesel.