Bay Roberts to re­view garbage col­lec­tion

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.

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