New recycling rules concern local motel owner
Debris from blue boxes will be an issue, he says
The manager of a motel on Highway 7 says he’s concerned that a new rule against using large clear bags to contain recyclables will mean loose debris forever flying across a busy highway, creating a traffic hazard.
Sean Gupta is the manager of the Carriage Inn Motel, in Otonabee South Monaghan Township, just east of Mark S. Burnham provincial park on Highway 7.
Now that he can no longer use plastic bags to set out the recycling, empty pop cans and water bottles fly out of his blue boxes in the wind.
He’s concerned it could be dangerous for motorists to have this type of debris whipping into windshields. It could be a problem any time of day or night, he said.
“It’s Highway 7 — there’s always traffic there,” he said.
For years, businesses and some residents in the city and County of Peterborough have used large clear recycling bags to gather and set out empty containers.
But a new recycling pickup contractor, Emterra Environmental, took over in both city and county on Nov. 1 and is under strict municipal orders to stop picking up those bags.
Dave Douglas, the city’s waste diversion manager, told The Examiner earlier this month that Emterra has no mechanical means of removing the containers from bags.
Douglas said it’s essential that containers be put into blue boxes instead, but Gupta said it’s impractical and will lead to lots of litter along the highway.
He wants to be able to use bags again. “It’s a simple request.”
Coun. Dean Pappas said on Monday the rule against using bags has an impact downtown in his ward.
Businesses, restaurants and apartment dwellers downtown find the bags save lots of space on the sidewalk, Pappas said, because a bag can hold twice as many containers as a blue box.
Pappas doesn’t think the lack of a mechanical de-bagger should mean the clear bags cannot be used.
“I don’t understand how they (recycling collection workers) can’t just open the bag and dump them (containers) in the truck,” he said.
No information was available on Monday from Emterra on whether it plans to get a mechanical de-bagger, but The Examiner has been told in an email from a spokesperson to expect more details soon.
Meanwhile, the city has experienced many delayed blue box pickups since Nov. 1, and Douglas
has said the reasons include mechanical issues with Emterra’s trucks, new routes, new drivers and the recent snowfall.
In a recent news release, the city stated that the issues causing delays will be resolved by Nov. 25.
The County of Peterborough has also experienced some recycling pickup delays since Nov. 1, but to a lesser extent, Sheridan Graham, the county’s corporate projects and services director, wrote in an email.
“We are working with our contractor to ensure things improve,” she wrote.