Green tells county council to stop dithering on garbage file

Warden John Green has lost patience with county councillors and their indecision, bickering, and arguing over how to best handle solid waste services.

The warden’s remarks were made at the end of another lengthy county council meeting that featured procedural wran­gling over the solid waste man­agement file and an attempt to kill a rural garbage pick-up pilot project.

Green, upset with the latest arguments and wrangling dur­ing the solid waste services committee report on March 27, said he is tired of the lack of progress.

He pointed out that coun­ty council decided several years ago which direction it wanted to take with the garbage handling system.

Green said, “At our option … seven years ago, there was an emotional movement that we go in a certain direction.”

But, he said, this is now “the fifth year we’ve been toying with a solid waste services solution,” and he add­ed that there has been “no agreement among councillors and people.”

Council had just gone through yet another failed proposal from solid waste services – to kill the remainder of a rural pick-up pilot project.

Councillors threw several procedural arguments against that plan, and it died when the idea failed to achieve a two-thirds majority vote to re­consider a motion that the county make a decision on the pilot project in October.

Green made no bones about why the garbage file has stag­nated. He said it was four years and three months ago that things changed. Up until that time, the county planned to build a transfer station at Os­pringe that would have served Guelph-Eramosa and Erin residents.

Green was referring to the municipal election of 2003 that saw a number of county councillors not return, and pro­posals for the solid waste plan that had been put in place were altered by the new council.

The Ospringe transfer sta­tion was dropped, and the coun­ty eventually decided to do a pilot project for rural gar­bage and recycling collection in Minto and Guelph-Eramosa Township.

January numbers again show as little interest in rural pickup by Minto residents as they did in 2002, when former Minto councillor Jim Connell, now re­tired, told county council that Minto did not want or need rural col­lection for garbage or recyclables.

Green said as far as he is concerned, if county coun­cillors cannot reach a decision, the county, which took over waste management at the turn of the century after amalga­mation, should hand the service back to the lower tier muni­cipalities, and let those councils run whatever garbage system they see fit.

He warned, though, that the mayors sitting on county coun­cil would not like that solution.

“If it goes back to the municipalities, you can’t afford it,” he said.

But, he added, “We’ve been wasting time for four and a half years.”

Green said, “Come to a reso­lution. I’m getting really sick of this … I can honestly tell you. It’s four years and three months, and this county council and waste management has progressed nowhere.”

Green said it appears there will never be an agreement on the garbage issues, and right now he wants one, even if there is the possibility the county might take the wrong direction.

“I’d as soon make a mistake and [make] progress than sit here another three years,” he concluded.