• Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Garbage pickup pay plan goes to full council vote after environment and climate change committee fails to reach consensus

Garbage pickup pay plan goes to full council vote after environment and climate change committee fails to reach consensus

City council will decide for the rest of next week whether Ottawa residents will pay for all, some or none of their curbside garbage collection, after a hopelessly deadlocked environment and climate change committee failed to reach a consensus Monday.

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The day began with a motion by Alta Vista Coun. Marty Carr, backed by Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, appeared to offer a compromise that would allow households to pick up 55 free trash cans a year, up from one a week or an average of 2.1 every two weeks. There will be an additional allowance for Christmas and each household will receive 15 free tags to use as needed. Additional tags cost $3 each.

An item is defined as a bag weighing up to 15 kg or a 140 liter waste bin containing one or more bags not exceeding 15 kg. Large or bulky items such as rugs or furniture require tags.

But the vote on that motion was tied 5-5, meaning it failed, with councilors Teresa Cavavaug, Sean Devine, Raulson King, Marty Carr and Shawn Menard in favor and Matt Luloff, David Hill, Tim Tierney, Riley Brockington and David Brown opposed. . Committee member Kathy Curry was absent for all votes because she was at the Hydro Ottawa meeting.

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The votes came from councilors who strongly oppose any type of pay-you-throw policy, saying it would add unfair costs to families, especially large families who produce more trash, and lead to illegal dumping in parks as well. trenches.

Rideau-Jock Coun. David Brown speaks at Monday’s meeting. Photo by Julie Oliver /Postmedia

A move by Rideau-Carp councilor Brown to reduce biweekly pickups from the current six to four and have no bag-tag requirements also failed in a 5-5 tie. Amendments from Brockington to reduce the biweekly limit to two or three, again without the tag fee, were killed in a 5-5 tie.

“It’s disappointing. “The city is so far behind on this that we can’t see our way to doing what every other major municipality — rural, urban, all sizes — has done,” Duncan Bury of WasteWatch Ottawa said as he left the meeting.

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Bury, who was the first of seven on the committee, began his presentation by reading a list of the other 132 municipalities with bag-tag systems.

“This indicates that there is not enough interest in diverting material from landfill. Not enough commitment around the table. It’s a sad comment,” he said.

Duncan Bury from WasteWatch Ottawa spoke at Monday’s meeting. He was disappointed with what happened at the meeting. Photo by Julie Oliver /Postmedia

City staff say reducing waste is essential to buy time for the Trail Road landfill, which is expected to run out of room by 2036. Limiting households to 2.1 bags per pickup can divert up to 58 percent of waste from landfill. It also extends its life by two years.

Currently, 74 percent of the city’s 306,000 households are already at or below the 2.1 bag limit.

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But Luloff, a councilman in Orleans East-Cumberland, dismissed the bag tag plan as “half-baked and incomplete,” saying rural ditches and dead-end roads would fill up with illegally dumped trash.

City staff acknowledge that illegal dumping can be a problem, but based on the experience of other municipalities, it usually subsides after about a year. The city planned to add two full-time bylaw enforcement officers and four seasonal workers to patrol for illegal dumpers, even sifting through trash for evidence: a discarded receipt or addressed envelope, for example. A $300 fine for an untagged bag.

Committee Chair Menard said the issue will be brought up again at the next full City Council meeting on June 14 and expects more “robust debate.”

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“Any change in waste affects every resident in the city,” Menard said, speaking to reporters afterward.

“What you’ve seen here is a reflection of that… but we need to remain positive about the potential for reducing waste in this city and saving money in the future. Regardless of the long-term solution — whether you believe in incineration, more landfills or other solutions — you can’t get there without reducing waste at the source or your costs to Ottawa residents will increase.

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