Garbage picking Stock image

CENTRE WELLINGTON ‒ Elora and Fergus residents need no longer fear standing downwind downtown this summer as council approves a new program to prevent the annual “mountains of garbage.” 

Centre Wellington councillors were overwhelmingly in support of approving the weekly waste collection pilot during a regular council meeting Monday afternoon. 

This increase in service is intended to reduce the wait time between waste collection while spreading out the amount of waste that collects at pick-up locations after the introduction of a county green bin program in summer 2020 reduced collection to every other week. 

“There was definitely a need (for additional garbage collection) and anyone living in our community understands that need,” said Mayor Shawn Watters. “Given we’re going into the summer season and this is typically the busiest time and the most garbage so there had to be a quick response.” 

In response to the reduced service, the Fergus BIA piloted a weekly waste collection using a private company.

“Just because of the amount of tourism in our area, we do have a ginormous garbage problem,” said Coun. Kimberly Jefferson, during the meeting. “(But) I also want to recognize that (the pilot program) may just be a bit of a stop-gap.”

During the height of their garbage issues, the Elora BIA  created a task force specifically to find solutions for their “unique situation” of “billowing waste piles,” food waste being kept for too long and attracting rodents, while stores and downtown residents above storefronts weren’t able to store their garbage or dumpsters. 

“We have a lot of restaurants, it does create a rodent problem,” said Coun. Lisa MacDonald. “It’s really not nice for the store owners to see.”

The additional service will be billed to the township for the remainder of 2023. 

The cost per additional week to service Fergus downtown area is $195. The cost per additional week to service Elora downtown area is $460.

However, agreeing with Jefferson, MacDonald asked that a more “sustainable” option be considered moving forward.

“It’s not just your little garbage bins or a recycle bin, it’s a mountain,” said MacDonald. “While I’m not looking for Disney World levels, I’m just looking for something that’s a little bit cleaner.” 

The weekly pick-up should begin on Tuesdays in July. 

Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

By Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 27, 2023 at 15:17

This item reprinted with permission from   Guelph, Ontario
Comments are Welcome - Leave a reply below - Posts are moderated

Comments are Welcome - Leave a reply below - Posts are moderated