No job losses
New truck will streamline garbage collection practices in Bay Roberts
Officials with the Town of Bay Roberts are offering assurances that proposed enhancements to the collection of residential garbage will not result in job losses.
The town has budgetted some $260,000 in its 2011 operating budget for the purchase of a new garbage truck, and is expected to call tenders in the coming weeks. The new truck is expected to arrive later this year.
The town’s public works committee is preparing the specifications for the truck, though it’s likely it will feature two compartments, one for waste and another for recyclying, and will have the option of being operated by one person.
The two trucks currently in the fleet — a 1995 International with a 20 cubic yard rear-load compactor, and a 2004 Sterling with a 32 cubic yard rear-load compactor — are each operated by three staff. The town also uses several pickups at times to collect from some smaller lanes.
The obvious question is how will staffing levels be affected if the town decides to use a one-operator system?
Nigel Black, chief administrative officer for Bay Roberts, said there will be no job losses, and it’s more likely the town will opt for a two-person system on the new truck.
“Although the truck is capable of operating in that manner, we believe a single operator situation is best suited to an urban community and based on the mix in Bay Roberts we do not feel that a single operator operation is currently possible in Bay Roberts,” Black wrote in a statement to The Compass. “Our intent is to move to a new truck that will be a two-person operation.”
Black added: “If we move to a two person operation, we anticipate that the other person would be tasked with other duties within the sanitation function that would enhance the level of service provided. This could include pick-up in small lanes, the potential addition of composting and chipping operations or the addition of other public works duties.”
The employees are represented by Teamsters Local 855 of the Transport and Allied Workers’ Union.
Weekly garbage collection can take from three to five days in Bay Roberts, depending on the circumstances, Black explained. The new side-loading trucks are said to be much more efficient, and could reduce the collection process by a day, which would free up staff for other duties.
Meanwhile, the town does not have a curbside recycling program, but it’s generally felt that one will be implemented in the coming years. By having a recycling compartment — which some say will add an additional $60,000 to the price — added to the truck, the town will be better prepared to expand its waste management service. In the meantime, the recycling compartment could be used to collect waste destined for the Robin Hood Bay regional landfill in St. John’s.
Sanitation costs are expected to increase by about $40,000 this year in Bay Roberts, with tipping fees at Robin Hood Bay rising to more than $65 per tonne in April. The town budgetted just under $380,000 for sanitation costs in 2010. In other council news: • Council has agreed to purchase 100 backyard composting bins, and will sell them at roughly $22 each. The intent is to reduce the amount of waste being collected each week, and save money on tipping fees at the landfill in St. John’s.
Mayor Glenn Littlejohn also called on residents to make a greater effort to reduce the amount of waste they bring to the curb each week.
• In respose to recent letters to the editor published in The Compass, complaining about parking violations at shopping centres in the town, Littlejohn stated that efforts will be made to address the problem.
The complaints centre around motorists who routinely park in fire lanes, and spaces reserved for those with disabilities. “ We hear our residents,” Littlejohn stated. • In a related matter, town officials plan to explore ways to address what’s been described as a “major problem” with litter outside the Bay Arena. A letter from arena manager Norm Hill outlined his frustrations about the ongoing problem.
“Over the last number of years we have tried desperately to stop this practice,” he wrote.
The town’s enforcement officer does not have ticketing authority for such offences, which some councillors say is an obstacle to addressing the problem.
• Council has granted approval in principle for an expansion of the Bay Roberts Hotel — formerly the Klondyke Hotel — to include a new lounge and restaurant.
• For the first time in recent memory, council did not approve any residential building permits at its meeting. “I hope that’s not an omen,” Littlejohn quipped.
• The town will stage a fifth annual hazardous waste management day, likely in late May or early June.
Carbonear native Jody George is shown in this August 2010 photo by Jim Rankin of the Toronto Star. George is now charged with the murder of the woman in the photo, 60-year-old Joanne Mitchell.