I was upset recently when asked to pay $5 per bag at the transfer station in Elora.
I had previously read the council report that suggested a new tax on ratepayers was necessary to “change behaviour.” It seems that politicians of any political stripe default to removing more cash from an already overtaxed ratepayer’s wallet.
Citing poor participation at curbside by ratepayers, this new added tax would make people fall in line and do as told. What is striking to me and others is that the issue at hand (low curbside participation) has been identified but no questions as to why? Instead of addressing this identified issue, the cudgel of more taxation is applied to people trying to correctly place their garbage in the identified garbage station.
For the benefit of our elected representatives, I offer these three solutions to increase participation rates at curbside:
1. Eliminate the pay per use bags. These are universally disliked for various reasons. Adopt a tag or sticker program like many other municipalities.
2. Advertise the fact that we are now allowed to use garbage cans at curbside. This has been an issue for at least 15 years and I have recently learned that we can use them again.
3. Schedule a twice yearly large item pick up day for all areas as they do in other jurisdictions. This works very well for example in Kitchener at my parents’ house.
Asking people to pay increased costs at the transfer station will change behaviour. How much will the taxpayers of the area be forced to pay to clean up all the ditches and dead end streets in the area of the resulting behavioural change.
Garbage will be redirected from the transfer stations, but most likely not to curbside for pick up.
Editor’s note: A $5 minimum fee for using the county’s waste facilities has been under discussion, but has not been implemented. The per bag charge remains $2, but a minimum would apply for less than three bags under the proposal. Solid waste services manager Das Soligo notes the county currently requires a $5 minimum payment to use VISA and debit machines at the sites, which could result in a charge of $5 to drop off a single bag.