Council revisits hours of drop-off depot for yard waste


By Karen Fallon

In an effort to appease the public, council agreed to open the Thomas Road public works yard waste depot for an five extra hours on Saturdays.

This will happen in conjunction with the twice-monthly roadside pick-up by Windsor Disposal.

The public works yard waste depot is currently staffed on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. until noon. However, it will also open its gates for an extra five hours on Saturdays. The actual time has yet to be determined.

Councilor Carolyn Davies, recommended that the hours start a little later than 8 a.m. to give resident a chance to work in their gardens before transferring their yard waste to the depot.

“We can trial it to see if a ten to two, or an eleven to three…might be useful,” said Davies, who noted that mulch, a bi-product of the yard, could possibly be offered for sale to the community.

Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland says as part of his motion to add the extra day and hours he would like to see a monthly report from public works to see how well it is being utilized.

“We need to give the residents the service they want as opposed to what we think they want,” said councilor John Sutton, who noted that composting at the facility may also provide a ‘way of paying for itself.”

Lou Zarlenga director of engineering and infrastructure says the gates at the drop-off facility have been left open recently due to the large volume of yard waste brought to the location due to the early spring.

Normally the depot opens April 1, notes Zarlenga. However this year material was being taken to the yard as early as mid-March.

At the March 19 council meeting Zarlenga was asked to bring back a report on the cost for addition service hours at the facility.

In his report to council Zarlenga presented a number of options including changing the depot-opening day from Wednesday to Saturday and keeping the same hours.

Councillor Robert Pillon questioned why in the report it indicated that having full-time staff man the depot from 8 a.m. until noon on Wednesdays cost almost $4,000 less than staffing it from noon until 4 p.m.

In response Zarlenga noted that once a staff person is present after 3 p.m. it gets into over-time hours, which during the period of a year it adds up to the difference.

Pillon says he would like to see the hours of operation on Wednesdays starting later than the current 8 a.m. but within normal working hours. This timing has been left to the discretion to the public works department.

Councillor Carolyn Davies questioned whether the facility can be staffed by summer students at a lower cost to the municipality.

“Public Works will endeavor to use the most economical combination of staff – full-time, part-time and students.

While using students is the most economical, notes Zarlenga, they can’t operate heavy equipment, which has to be done by a full-time person.

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