Towns sign on with East­ern Waste Man­age­ment

Tak­ing on ad­di­tional garbage, re­cy­cling con­tracts in Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia

The Compass - - NEWS - BYMELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

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.

Pla­cen­tia col­lec­tion

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.

De­lays

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.

Pho­tos by Melissa Jenk­ins/The Com­pass

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.

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