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County residents receive reprieve on increase in user-pay garbage fees

County residents receive reprieve on increase in user-pay garbage fees

by Patrick Raftis

GUELPH - Wellington County residents will get a reprieve on a planned increase in the cost of user-pay garbage fees.

At its Jan. 12 meeting, the county’s solid waste services committee recommended that effective July 1 user fees be increased by 50 cents for curbside user-pay bags, both large and small, and the same increase be applied for the disposal of a garbage bag at county waste facilities.

Currently the county charges $1.75 per large bag and $1 per small bag for cubside pickup, and $1 per bag taken to a landfill site or transfer station.

However, councillor Don McKay, solid waste services committee chair, told Wellington County council at its Jan. 28 meeting it was decided at a subsequent administration, finance and human resources committee meeting to delay the increase.

“We decided to forego it for the time being until we have a look at our strategic plan,” said McKay.

The solid waste committee will be looking at a number of issues, including the possible expansion of rural garbage and recycling pickup across the county, over the next few months, McKay explained.

Possible fee increases will be looked at as part of the process.

“We thought it was premature to look at bag prices before we look at rural pickup,” explained McKay, adding the move doesn’t mean the bag price increase won’t happen.

“It’s not off the table.”

McKay also pointed out the province is currently looking at a draft Waste Free Ontario Act.

He said the act, tabled Nov. 26, “puts the onus the responsibility for recycling packaging of products on the producer – they are going to be responsible for how they package and how they collect and reuse their products.”

“The municipality may not be it. They may choose to contract it out to somebody else,” said McKay. “In the midst of when we’re looking at our strategy and what is going on we have to take a look at what the province is mandating.”

Councillor Neil Driscoll, mayor of Mapleton, thanked McKay and the committee for looking into the rural pickup issue.

“For our residents it’s a big concern. I do have residents that have to travel 30 kilometres to a waste transfer site with their garbage,” said Driscoll

“If there can be exciting times in solid waste services ... this is exciting times,” said Warden George Bridge. “This is something we should have looked at a few years ago in my mind - rural collection.”

February 12, 2016


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