Residential yard waste collection debated

By Karen Fallon

While a number of local residents are asking for longer opening hours at the local residential yard waste drop-off depot in the town, others are seeking curbside pick-up for this refuse, notes Lou Zarlenga, director of engineering and infrastructure, in a recent report to council.

Currently the town is the only local municipality which provides a depot where residents can dispose of their yard waste. Other municipalities in the area provide curbside collection.

Presently the town’s yard waste depot operates three days a week on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, for a total of 20 hours and is staffed by students.

According to Zarlenga, the volume of yard waste being brought to the site has increased significantly, from 30 cubic yards per week in 2004, to 206 cubic yards weekly in 2010.

To date in 2011, 142 cubic yards per week have been disposed of at the site.

In 2006 a report went to council proposing residential yard waste curbside pick-up twice per month. In the former report it was noted that this would cost approximately $27,800 per year which was deemed less then the operating cost of the yard waste depot at that time.

The current cost to operate the yard is pegged annually at approximately $84,000. However, noted Zarlenga, this doesn’t include the tipping fees which were about $46,250 in 2010.

The cost for roadside pick-up, says Zarlenga, is projected to be in the area of $50,000.

“It really does seem like a big saving by going door-to-door instead of the public works yard,” said councillor Diane Pouget.

The information was provided to council, notes Zarlenga, in preparation for the up-coming garbage collection tender so that the town can obtain quotes with this in mind.

Mayor Wayne Hurst, says it is his understanding that the majority of the public likes the depot as many want it open longer than currently being experienced.

“Before we do anything I think it is important to make sure that we digest this to ensure that once we make a decision that we don’t have to come back and revisit it,” said Hurst.

One response to “Residential yard waste collection debated”

  1. Dave Bratt says:

    Keep the yard open. It gives the students some work.. The town does not have much in the way of jobs for students.. I do not mind the extra money for providing student jobs.