Stay clear, stay safe. Guidelines for children around garbage trucks


Spring break is over, and children are still at home. COVID-19 and social and physical distancing measures have us housebound more than ever. For children that may be playing outside at home, it's important to know how to be safe around the City's garbage trucks on collection days.

Nanaimo's garbage truck drivers want all of Nanaimo's children to follow these safety tips:

  • Stop, look, listen, and stay away. If you are exploring around your neighbourhood, or playing in your driveway, keep watch for garbage trucks or other big equipment. If you see a truck, make sure you stay away from it.

  • Don't pass a garbage truck. If you are out for a walk, stay clear of a garbage truck and don't try and pass it unless the driver sees you and waves you forward.

  • Pay attention. If you hear the truck beeping, it could be backing up.

  • Black, green and blue carts are not toys. Don’t open the lids or touch the items inside.

Please remember, our recycling, garbage and compost carts have ONE purpose only – to put our refuse out for collection. Playing in and around them can be extremely dangerous, especially when they are out at the curb.

For a fun way to teach your children, The City of Toronto has released a fantastic and easy to watch safety video called "Garbage truck safety tips for kids." Watch it here:

Link to Strategic Plan: The City of Nanaimo is committed to efficient and safe City services.

Key Points

  • Stop, look, listen, and stay away. Safety is everyone's responsibility, and parents and guardians are asked to educate their children on how to stay safe around City trucks.
  • Our recycling, garbage and compost carts have ONE purpose only - the collection of our refuse. Playing in and around the carts can be dangerous.


"Through this COVID-19 pandemic, our drivers are dedicated to continuing to pick up recycling, garbage and organics without service disruptions. We want everyone to be safe around our trucks. Safety is everyone’s responsibility."

Manager of Sanitation, Recycling & Cemeteries
City of Nanaimo

"So many children are fascinated by garbage trucks, and we understand why: they’re big and loud, are driven by a friendly crew of operators, have mechanical arms that lift carts up and down, and every day carry about six hippopotamus’s worth of garbage, organics and recycling! Our garbage truck drivers have big jobs to do, and safety is their top priority."

Zero Waste Coordinator
City of Nanaimo


Garbage truck safety tips for kids (City of Toronto)
Garbage truck safety tips for kids (City of Toronto)


Taaj Daliran
Manager of Sanitation, Recycling & Cemeteries
City of Nanaimo

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