Bay Roberts to review garbage collection
The Town of Bay Roberts is in the midst of a comprehensive review of its garbage collection practices, and every option appears to be on the table, including the possibility of privatizing the service.
The issue was discussed briefly at a council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 14, but firm decisions are not expected to be made until later in the fall.
It appears inevitable that the town will purchase a new truck, but the truck’s configuration has not yet been finalized, according to Coun. Gerald Greenland, who chair’s the town’s public works committee.
Greenland reported that a traditional collection truck — one that requires a three-person team to operate — would cost somewhere in the range $160,000, while a sideloading, one-operator truck with multiple compartments that could accommodate a recycling strategy would cost up to $220,000.
The truck is expected to be ordered before the end of the year, he noted.
Council will have a wide range of issues to consider, he explained. Some of them include the following:
• will it be a one or two-person system;
• will the truck be rear-or sideloading;
• will the service continue to be performed by the town’s unionized employees;
• or will tenders be called for private enterprise to take over the service?
Town staff are preparing a cost analysis of the service, and are expected to make a recommendation to council.
In the event the service is privatized, council will have to consider challenges from the union, and whether the affected staff can be assigned new duties, Greenland stated.
“ We don’t want to displace any of the workers that are there now,” Greenland told The Compass.
“ We have to find work for them before we could consider tendering our garbage collection, or reducing the manpower we need to provide the service.”
The town currently operates two rear-loading garbage trucks. One is relatively new, while the second one is nearing the end of its lifespan and lacks sufficient capacity.
The town has to transport its waste to the Robin Hood Bay landfill in St. John’s, and a larger truck would reduce the number of trips and result in a more efficient service, Greenland explained.
Many municipalities have opted for the side-loading, multi-compartment garbage truck. But Greenland stressed the review is still in the early stages.