Garbage on hold

Ma­jor­ity of city un­able to tran­si­tion to curb­side garbage col­lec­tion

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - COMING UP - JOSHUA SAN­TOS

About 65 per cent of Moose Jaw res­i­dents will not be able to tran­si­tion to curb­side garbage col­lec­tion, ac­cord­ing to a new city ad­min­is­tra­tion re­port pre­sented at Mon­day’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing.

Due to a mo­tion brought forth by Coun. Chris War­ren on Aug. 14, only 35 per cent of the city would be able to switch over be­cause of the new cri­te­ria.

“We have ex­ist­ing peo­ple on curb­side with no drive­ways. All of a sud­den, we couldn’t do curb­side with those peo­ple any­more, “Matt No­ble, city man­ager said.

The mo­tion ex­cludes blocks from curb­side col­lec­tion where more than 20 per cent of homes do not have front drive­ways, blocks with an ex­cess of cars us­ing park­ing on the street, blocks with streets de­fined as nar­row by the city, blocks where on-street park­ing lanes do not ex­ist and blocks where more than 20 per cent of homes have re­tain­ing walls and more than one-step to the curb.

The strict cri­te­ria com­pli­cate mat­ters even fur­ther, as some res­i­dents who have been on curb­side col­lec­tion for years would be el­i­gi­ble to switch back to al­ley pick-up.

“One step is not usu­ally con­sid­ered to be a de­bil­i­tat­ing fac­tor but we have pic­tures of some where there’s sev­eral steps and they show us the pic­tures of the steps, but right next to it is a drive­way with a very grad­ual slope. Un­der ei­ther cri­te­ria, curb­side would not ap­ply to them and yet it should be­cause they are func­tional,” said No­ble.

Af­ter their find­ings, ad­min­is­tra­tion pro­posed five al­ter­na­tives. Coun­cil could con­tinue with orig­i­nal full im­plan­ta­tion, im­ple­ment ex­cep­tions for all the new cri­te­ria, use some of them, leave the pro­gram as is in its pi­lot stage, or can­cel all of curb­side col­lec­tion.

“I would re­ally like to see com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion be­fore we im­ple­ment any­thing,” said War­ren.

He also be­came frus­trated when Moose Jaw was com­pared to other cities.

In the memo, ad­min­is­tra­tion said Moose Jaw was the only city in the prov­ince that has not tran­si­tioned to curb­side waste col­lec­tion. Regina has the next low­est ra­tio with about 65 per cent of homes get­ting curb­side ser­vice.

“We just had a re­port in June that states of the 10 big­ger cities in Saskatchewan, three of them were at 100 per cent with York­ton at 99. The other six were between 65 and 100 per cent. They’re par­tially curb­side but so are we, right now,” War­ren said dur­ing the meet­ing.

War­ren said he had com­pleted his own analysis on his own time and found ma­jor cities in Al­berta and Man­i­toba vary in their ap­proach to garbage pick up. At this time, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Moose Jaw has tran­si­tioned about 24 per cent of prop­er­ties. The in­tent of the re­port was to pro­vide bench­marks for coun­cil.

“The bot­tom line is, we can never have 100 per­cent con­ver­sion be­cause of the na­ture of city.

“We may well al­though be able to ob­tain 65 or 80 per­cent and we thought that af­ter all this time that was un­der­stood,” said No­ble.

When com­bined with bi-weekly col­lec­tion, curb­side garbage pick up is meant to re­sult in sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial sav­ings, which in turn ad­dress cuts from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment – grants in lieu from prop­erty taxes – and in­vest in the city land­fill.

Af­ter a lengthily meet­ing, coun­cil de­cided it was best to con­sult with the pub­lic be­fore tran­si­tion­ing ar­eas three, four and five to curb­side pick up.

Coun­cil would also like to con­tinue re­view­ing the five cri­te­ria adopted dur­ing the Aug. 14 meet­ing ex­empt­ing blocks from curb­side pick up.

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