Each year, Callander hosts a Spring and Fall garbage drop off for residents / File photoDavid Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Callander council doesn’t want to toss fall clean up to the curb yet.

“I think our cleanups are tremendously important,” said Councillor Jordy Carr. “I know they’re expensive, but by not having a dump within a short distance, it allows people to have a place to bring their debris.”

The municipality has a spring and fall cleanup, two days where residents can bring their trash and yard waste to the Operations Yard and toss it into the supplied bins. Last year, looking to save money, council asked staff to prepare a report which considered eliminating the fall cleanup.

Also, the fall drop off is not as well-used as the spring’s, another reason council considered removing the service.

Removing the fall cleanup would save the town around $15,000 per year. Last year’s total cost was $14,540. The spring cleanup, which is more popular, cost $21,074 this past May. The costs come from tipping fees at Merrick Landfill and staff time to prepare for and oversee the events.

See: It’s time for a spring clean, Callander

However, as Carr emphasized, the service is much appreciated within the community, and well-used by residents, and should be kept. Council agreed.

Still wanting to reduce costs, a fee was suggested to take part in the drop-off, reasoning that a small fee would still be cheaper than driving it to Merrick Landfill. The danger? “If the fee is too high, people won’t bother to use it,” Councillor Irene Smit said, “and refuse will go where it doesn’t belong.”

“People will take a drive out in the country,” she added, and leave their garbage along a quiet backroad.

The fee idea was struck down by council – “it’s already included in the taxes,” Councillor Grant McMartin said.

Councillor Carr also suggested that identification be displayed during dump day to prove residency. A card could be sent to residents beforehand, which could be used to gain access to the bins. Ensuring only locals use the service, could reduce cost.

Another angle council is pursuing is increasing public education about how to use those bins. Some folks toss their trash into the organics bin, and when the gatekeepers at the landfill see that, the entire load is deemed to be mixed, which is much costlier to dump than a load of organics.

The issue will return to council, however, as of now, council does not want to impose fees. Council is also investigating how to better educate the public so as not to spoil the garbage loads. Finally, it is looking into how best to verify a resident on drop off day.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

By David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 27, 2024 at 16:24

This item reprinted with permission from   BayToday.ca   North Bay, Ontario
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