Curbside collection and yard waste depot evenly split

 

By Karen Fallon

Councillor Carolyn Davies, when discussing the monthly residential yard waste report from Lou Zarlenga, director of engineering and infrastructure, says it is: “Time to fish or cut bait.”

Davies pointed out that the tonnage collected via curbside pick-up and that from the public works depot is approximately 50/50 and as such a decision should be made regarding which option is most appealing to the majority of residents.

The cost associated with the curbside collection is reflected in the monthly contract price to Windsor Disposal and tipping fees at the Essex Windsor Solid Waste Authority landfill.

While the curbside collection is a budgeted expense the operation of the local yard waste depot is not.

Earlier this year council decided to have residential yard waste picked up at the curbside by Windsor Disposal.

In conjunction they also agreed to have the Thomas Road public works yard waste depot staffed on Wednesday mornings from 8 a.m. until noon and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. in an effort to judge how people are utilizing the two options.

Davies suggested holding a public meeting where residents can speak to the matter, before a decision is made prior to budget time.

“I am really very concerned, we have been doing this now for a season and it was really good that we did do it,” said Davies. “I know there are a lot people who are getting used to the curbside collection and there are other folks who are still using the waste depot.

According to Todd Hewitt, roads superintendent the cost for the tonnage of yard waste taken to the landfill remains the same to the municipality whether it is collected by Windsor Disposal or it is taken from the depot.

Also whether the garbage contractor picks up one bag of yard waste from a home or six, the cost to the municipality for the service remains the same.

However there are extra costs linked with collecting the yard waste at the local depot which include: labour costs, equipment cost to load the yard waste into disposal bins, transportation of the yard waste to the landfill, tipping fees and rental fees for a trailer and portable toilet.

Because of the extra costs to keep the local yard waste depot open, options should be taken to the public before the 2013 budget talks, as keeping the depot open could result in a rise in taxes, says Davies.

“We have had a season with it and some people love one and some people love the other,” said Davies. “I think it’s about time that we go back to the community because it is going to be controversial….and have a public meeting some time in the fall.

According to Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland, who was Acting Mayor at the Sept. 10 meeting, things should be kept the same for the time being.

“There are pros and cons to both, but I think it should be dealt with at budget time,” said Sutherland.

Davies agreed but stressed that the matter should be addressed in advance of the 2013, yard waste season so that people know what they will be dealing with.

“I want the people to have lots of notice and lots of input,” said Davies.

Also, noted Hewitt, a decision needs to be made before the 2013 waste collection calendar is put together to avoid miscommunication, as the 2012 collection calendar was assembled before curbside pick-up was initiated and the hours of the depot were adjusted.

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