Regional Council, at the end of the last year approved changes to curbside waste collection for homes in Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, Townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Woolwich and Wilmot. The changes were implemented in March 2017. It is the time when the new waste collection contract starts.
The changes include:
- Garbage collection every two weeks: Four garbage bag/containers (maximum of 50 pounds or 23 kilograms each) will be collected once every two weeks
- Bulky items and appliances collected every two weeks: Three items that cannot fit in a standard garbage bag/container will be collected once every two weeks
- Weekly blue box and green bin collection in the rural areas of the Townships: Currently, rural areas receive blue box collection every two weeks and do not receive green bin collection
- Seasonal yard waste collection every two weeks in the rural areas of the Townships: Currently, some areas do not receive yard waste collection
- Garbage tag program to accommodate garbage bag/container set-out beyond the four bag/container limit
- Exemption program an exemption to the garbage limit for residents with medical conditions.
Reference: Region of Waterloo
But did this change bring any good? Let’s find out
If we take into account 4 garbage bags per family/household per week, weighing 15 lbs (Avg.) each bag, then the total garbage weight per family/household per week comes out to be 60 lbs.
In Waterloo city alone, if we take into account weekly garbage weight for all the households i.e. 43,330, it comes out to be 2,599,800 lbs. The number is large as compared to the facility available to manage the garbage.
A contract of garbage handling has been provided to a private company by the City of Waterloo to manage all the garbage generated that is left on the curb. The issue isn’t highlighted much, but the problems faced by the residents show the incapability of the politicians at the local level.
Another Local Level Issue That Came Across and Had National Impact
Cutting down the Library Hours
The City of Waterloo Councilors and Mayor’s Office cut hours to the Local three Libraries. This was done in a City when primary business is Education where multiple universities are bringing in students from Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Europe. They needed libraries but now hours are slashed.
The issue with the garbage collection is simple. There is no inventory system of how much garbage the company is removing. Many owners have homes in the City of Waterloo as investments, vacation homes, and secondary homes.
If the garbage is collected bi-weekly only four bags that seems completely unfair as these owners might not be home most of the month. When they are, the garbage is left behind. Also, senior citizens are affected.
Galaxy Gate real estate has sold many homes in the City of Waterloo and they are unhappy with the change. As the TAXES are the same. Taxes which were for Library, Garbage Collections, and other services are used to put up street car lines throughout the city, copying the Downtown City of Toronto.
Totally unnecessary investment as the city of Waterloo is small and most people use existing transit systems such as buses, go train and cars. Galaxy Gate Sellers of Real Estate in Waterloo are very unhappy with changes. This is resulting in many sellers leaving Waterloo and investors refusing to invest in real estate in Waterloo.
What’s the Proposed Solution?
- The private company should provide an inventory of garbage removed. If a homeowner has not placed any garbage or less garbage adds to the database. A simple monitoring system which is free on the internet can be used.
- A homeowner should be able to call and have dispute addressed directly to the garbage company and not to the City of Waterloo.
- The garbage company tracking and inventory of garbage removal should be checked by the City of Waterloo officials. The public should also protest and call the Mayor’s Office and report any unethical activity.