Towns sign on with Eastern Waste Management
Taking on additional garbage, recycling contracts in Trinity-Conception-Placentia
It was bitterly cold Tuesday, Jan. 13 when Ken Kelly of Eastern Waste Management (EWM) joined operator John Taylor on his new garbage route in Spaniard’s Bay.
Taylor, who is from Placentia, is a new addition to the EWM garbage collection staff.
Kelly, EWM’s chief administrative officer, was not only his passenger in Spaniard’s Bay, but he travelled with him every day last week to each community, emptying garbage boxes and throwing bags in the compactor.
It’s not an easy job, Kelly admits, telling The Compass he took off his coat after a day out on the road, and his coveralls were covered in crystalized ice. But that week, he and other personnel from management were experiencing the work hands on.
“It’s all hands on deck,” he said.
Many towns and communities in Trini- ty-Conception-Placentia have signed on with the largest waste management organization in eastern Newfoundland.
Although there have been a few hiccups after the first week of EWM’s garbage and recycling pick up, the communities taking advantage of the service are getting used to the changes.
For the past three years, the Town of Placentia has been a customer of EWM, but this year the organization internalized garbage collection. It was previously contracted out.
Mayor Wayne Power told The Compass there’s bound to be some transitional wrinkles, but he has been assured they are only temporary.
“We are expecting the same level of service that we’ve been receiving for the last three years,” Power said. “It was a pretense we had agreed with.”
Power confirmed the previous service was efficient, and the recycling program has been gaining momentum.
“The more education you put out, the better it will be,” he said.
The towns of Carbonear, Spaniard’s Bay and Clarke’s Beach have also signed on, as well as Bristol’s Hope and Port de Grave. The company also services many other communities from Bay de Verde to Blaketown to Long Harbour.
Carbonear, Placentia and Spaniard’s Bay reported delays with pick up on their selected days for the first week of the new contract, with the latter not receiving pick up of all their garbage until the following week.
Kelly confirmed the amount of garbage to collect at many homes for that first week was substantial, likely because it was after Christmas.
“We have four (trucks) on the road today,” he explained on the route in Tilton last Tuesday.
Typically, there are only three trucks on the road.
EWM chairman Ed Grant has been pleased with the service so far, even with the few bumps in the road.
“We (purchased) new equipment, hired new staff, bought new compactors,” he said. “With some new people on trucks, and some of the trucks being brand new, we knew (there could be some issues).”
He also agreed, after Christmas there tends to be more garbage than usual, and the backlog would be taken care the week of Jan. 12-16.
The Eastern Regional Service Board operates EWM. It consists of 20 municipal government representatives and a government appointment chairperson.
Not just garbage
EWM not only handles garbage collection; it also collects recyclables.
Grant believes recycling is an important part of the process, because the curbside pick up can be more efficient than having to gather up bottles, cans and other items and bring them to the recycling depot. He admitted some people are more likely to throw recyclables in the trash.
“Black bag services are not doing any favour to the environment,” he explained.
Offering the service is also less expensive to the towns that are using it.
“There is a price deferential; $20 a tonne for recyclables and $65 a tonne for garbage,” Grant noted.
Several towns in the region were already taking advantage of this service, like Carbonear and Placentia. But for others, it’ll be the first time.
Bulk pick up will still take place on planned days throughout the year, and all locals can take advantage of the local waste recovery facilities located throughout the region during regular operating hours. Process Grant confirmed each garbage truck is equipped with a GPS tracking system, to ensure quality and reliability.
“If we get a call that says (the truck) wasn’t there, we can check to see if and when it went down that street or if they didn’t have their garbage out in time,” he explained. But the GPS has another purpose. “We can determine how fast our trucks are going,” Grant said. “If we get a call saying one of our trucks was speeding down the highway at 130 kilometres an hour, we can determine if that’s true, at any given point.”
As of 2015, EWM has taken on some 20,000 households for garbage collection, and it doesn’t look like things are slowing down.
Chief administrative officer of Eastern Waste Management Ken Kelly helps collect garbage on the compactor truck in Spaniard’s Bay Tuesday, Jan. 13.
John Taylor of Placentia is one of the newest staff members with Eastern Waste Management.