KITCHENER -- The key to making sure curbside garbage in Waterloo Region is picked up during the winter months: proper placement.

“It’s the one step rule,” said garbage collector Taylor Reid. “If you take more than one step [off of the driveway or curb] to go reach it you really shouldn’t have to go grab it.”

The Region of Waterloo has laid out guidelines to make sure collection teams like Reid and Scott Murray remain safe and uninjured during the winter.

“There are a few people that have been injured on the job,” said Murray. “A lot of back, knee, and leg problems just from walking in the snow and all that.”

The two says they usually leave garbage bags or bins placed on top of snow banks and move on to the next one.

The Region recommends placing waste containers at the edge of a driveway or digging a ledge in the snowbank at street level.

“We understand it’s sometimes difficult for residents, we know driveways are narrow, they don’t want the inconvenience of having to move containers out of the way,” said Cari Rastas-Howard of the region’s waste management division. “Hopefully it’s just a short period of time when we have to deal with snowbanks and hopefully they can think about our contractors and make it easier for them.”

The Region of Waterloo collects at around 500-1,000 residences every day. No injuries have been reported so far this year.

They add that residents should avoid using white garbage bags, brush snow off bags for better visibility, and keep containers and bags in the line of sight for collectors.

A bag limit is also in place depending on the location of the residence as well as a weight limit of 50 pounds per bag.

More collection information can be found on the region’s website.