Limited community use of municipal residential curbside garbage collection service
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
Sioux Lookout’s Municipal Garbage Collection service is being used by just over a quarter of community members. Municipal Public Works Manager Andrew Jewell shared, “Recent collection of surveys indicate that only about 27 per cent of all residential properties with the Municipality utilize the residential curbside garbage collection service.”
Jewell shared that the garbage disposal services are offered across the entire municipality, including, south from Butterfly Lake Road to west of Hudson, and as far east as Alcona corner (Legros Road). The Municipal website states that Municipal Waste Management Division is a part of the Public Works Division and is comprised of the following; Residential Garbage Collection, Residential Recycling Collection and Garbage Disposal (Hidden Lake Landfill Site - The Dump). The Sioux Lookout Municipal landfill can be used to dispose of solid, non-hazardous municipal waste and dewatered sewage sludge.
Jewell shared that the residential curbside garbage collection system is intended to be a full user pay system, meaning that garbage generators pay for the service. “The cost of two bag tags and setting your garbage out for collection is far cheaper than transporting two bags of garbage out to the landfill. So bag tag fees are likely not a contributing factor in people bringing their garbage to the landfill,” he added.
Jewell shared that garbage bag tags are sold for $26.00 HST included, for a sheet of 10 tags, costing $2.60 per bag tag, or approximately $0.016 per kilogram at the landfill. There is a 50kg minimum charge of $7.65, when transported to the landfill. He added, “At this time Council believes that the current cost of bag tags is adequate. Landfill tipping fees increase annually, in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).”
Current lack of resident participation in residential curbside garbage collection services results in the service operating at a yearly deficit with taxation dollars to balance the cost of providing the service, the Municipality shared. They encourage residents to partake in the service to help increase revenue and potentially eliminate the use of taxation dollars to balance the cost of providing the service.
Jewell mentioned that even though they do not have any quantitative data regarding the causes of limited use for municipal garbage collection, “anecdotally, we hear that some people simply enjoy the ride to the landfill.” He added that there are no current considerations by Council to discontinue curbside collection.
Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks shared on their website that an efficient and effective waste management program can best be achieved when an integrated approach is taken in the delivery of waste management services. It added that landfilling remains a necessary component of waste management -whether to manage 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) residuals or to dispose of wastes, which are not amenable to reuse, or recycling.
Garbage pick-up depends on the area of the municipality that you live in. For further information, visit the Municipality of Sioux Lookout’s Residential Garbage Collection Schedule at https://bit.ly/3c1tita.