No job losses

New truck will stream­line garbage col­lec­tion prac­tices in Bay Roberts

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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