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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Letters Waste Services Central Elgin

January 29, 2019

Dear Editor.

The possible change to our waste collection requires broader public discussion and more detail. On the recently formed Committee to explore options, there should also be members of the public and not solely Councillors, consultants, and staff.

Your Editorial summarizes the staff reports nicely. They show a cost of approximately $1 million per year, regardless of which option is chosen. However, each option is significantly different, and the repercussions may affect taxpayers to different degrees. The staff reports also use a 13 year financial forecast to show the implications of the various options. This methodology needs examination, as capital expense budgets normally are done on 5 year forecasts.

Several questions need answering. These include a detailed analysis of how we, as a Township, will get to 60%. The collection of organics alone will not do this. There are no statistics in the staff report showing the percentage of our waste comprised of organics. Considering Central Elgin's diversion rate is essentially the same as it was in 2011 (26.7%), what steps, beyond organics, can we, as residents, undertake to get to 60%? For example, would a community green bin work or not? We need options to consider.

The December 17, 2018 staff report suggests that odours from less frequent pick-up may be an issue. While the staff report suggests simple solutions to fix this, the reality may be different, and this issue needs more in-depth discussion.

The staff report also states there could be a "service interruption" if the waste collection service is done internally by Township staff. The report also stated there were no service interruptions with the private contractor for the last 12 years. This is a serious issue and needs resolving.

While the reports to Council discuss general problems with the current private contractor, there is no detail on the numbers or types of complaints, or whether the complaints are from the same people or different people each time. With approximately 6,000 homes in the Township, each paying roughly $100/yr for garbage/recycling collection 52 weeks of the year through our taxes, a combination of weather, equipment issues, and resident error is bound to happen and create complaints. More details on these complaints would make it easier to choose the best option for us.

Council has now formed a committee to study the issue. A public information meeting early on would be appropriate, as well as having additional taxpayers added to the committee.

Either option outlined in the staff report, or perhaps others, could work. However, the residents need to hear more about the current service's pros and cons, alternatives, and the costs.

Dennis O'Grady, Donna Kraft

Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2019 15:47:52 PM EST

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