Meet the new waste collector
Miller Waste Systems aims for ‘seamless’ transition in October
Box it. Bin it. Sort it.
Niagara’s new slogan for its waste management program — as well as some of the approximately 70 brand new trucks one of its new collectors, Miller Waste Systems, will use — were rolled out Wednesday in Niagara-on-the-lake.
Two companies, Miller and GFL Environmental, will take over waste collection for the Region starting Oct. 19, the same day Niagara moves to biweekly trash collection.
The new slogan will adorn the sides of the trucks, replacing the old one that for the past 10 years has asked residents to Rethink Your Waste.
“We want the transition to be as seamless as possible” when Miller and GFL take over from the former contractor, Emterra, said Miller CEO Blair Mcarthur.
“We want it to be like the light switch is turned on and for residents to know that they put their garbage out, by (mid-afternoon) their garbage is picked up, their recyclables are picked up in a clean, professional manner.”
When the new contract takes effect Oct. 19, GFL will handle collections in Thorold, Grimsby, West Lincoln, Lincoln, Pelham and Wainfleet.
Miller will cover St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Fort Erie, Niagara-on-the-lake and Port Colborne, stopping at about 112,000 addresses each week for pickups.
It will have between 100 and 125 employees based at its Townline Road office, garage and yard.
Mcarthur said his firm has approximately 70 new collection trucks, all diesel, that cost between $225,000 and $300,000 apiece and require drivers to undergo 55 hours of training.
“They have all the newest technology. They have a regeneration system where the exhaust goes through a system where the particulate is burned before the exhaust goes out … these are state of the art.”
The new slogan reflects the Region’s push to get residents to increase their recycling and composting efforts as the Oct. 19 start date for collecting garbage only every second week nears.
Recyclables and compost will still be picked up once a week.
“The whole rationale is to get the materials out of the garbage (stream) so you have a longer life” for the landfills Niagara sends its trash to, said St. Catharines regional councillor Tim Rigby, who chairs the Region’s public works committee.
Currently, Niagara’s diversion rate is about 57 per cent, he said, but the goal is to eventually remove 65 per cent of waste before it goes to landfill.
On Wednesday, Niagara Region Chair Jim Bradley called the goal “ambitious, but I think achievable.”
The new slogan, combined with reduced trash collection dates, “really is a call to action for residents and businesses to sort their recyclables,” said Catherine Habermebl, the Region’s
director of waste management services.
Mcarthur said his company has worked with the outgoing contractor, Emterra, as it prepares to start collections.
Last year, Miller’s sister company, Escarpment Renewables, acquired an organics processing plant in Grimsby.
It is being retrofitted to be what Miller president Denis Goulet called “a state of the art facility producing electricity and federally certified highgrade natural fertilizer for use on local agricultural lands.”
More information on changes to Niagara’s waste collection program is online at Niagararegion.ca/waste.
Niagara Region staffer Ashley Northcotte hands out a hat during an event Wednesday to introduce Miller Waste Systems as one of the region’s new waste management providers.