However, it has been said that a significant corner was turned in Ottawa during this year that would benefit all residents and would become a core service: the beginning of garbage collection. Prior to this, many less affluent residents had no choice but to discard their refuse into the street.
Garbage and Recycling
The $400,000, year-long communications campaign to convince residents to use their green bins more begins today after city council voted in 18-4 in favour Wednesday of the waste service changes that include bi-weekly pickup or garbage.
The changes to garbage collection sailed through council Wednesday on an 18-4 vote. Councillors Stephen Blais, Allan Hubley, Bob Monette and Doug Thompson opposed the changes, which will increase green bin collection to every week, year-round.
The major policy shift never seemed in danger of being voted down. Mayor Jim Watson supported the plan and Coun. Maria McRae, chairwoman of the environment committee, has been selling the changes to her colleagues and residents across the city.
Despite public consultations that indicated more than half of respondents are against biweekly pickup of curbside garbage, that is exactly the policy city staff is recommending.
From late last year to early February, the city carried out "extensive public consultations," including a random telephone survey of 2,003 residents, to get feedback on various service options that staff was considering.
A city plan to pick up garbage every two weeks, while increasing green-bin pickup to every week, will save taxpayers $9 million annually for six years, according to a report to be released today.
“Waste diversion is important and fiscally responsible for our City. By incorporating our schools into the Green Bin Program, we hope to improve our diversion rates and educate the youth of the value of using the Green bin,” says Councillor Blais.
For the man who used only six bags for garbage in 2010, the idea to reduce trash pickup to once every two weeks is a no-brainer.
Mark Johnson admitted there might still be some diehards who like to stuff all they can into their garbage, but at an information session Thursday night at the Walter Baker Recreation Centre in Nepean he said recycling and the green bin program simply make sense.
Right now, the city is engaged in a waste review process where they are considering various options for altering the rate and format of waste collection. One of the options is to reduce garbage collection from every week to every second week. This is a bad idea and we fully oppose it.
In a joint-statement sent out Friday, the councillors say the city's idea to move to biweekly collection is "flawed" and they vowed to prevent it from becoming policy. Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais, Beacon Hill-Cyrville Coun. Tim Tierney and Orleans Coun. Bob Monette say service will be reduced when taxpayers are looking for value for their money.
With less than a week to go before the first public consultation on possible changes to the city's garbage and recycling pickup schedule, three east-end councillors have already declared war on any proposal to collect regular garbage less often.
“The residents of the east end and across Ottawa were very clear last October - they want value for the taxes they send to City Hall”, said Cumberland Councillor Stephen Blais. “This plan to reduce the frequency of garbage pick-up is not what voters sent us to City Hall to accomplish.”