Dysart overhauling landfills

·3 min read

Dysart at al council is planning to make significant changes to waste management services, including reducing hours, a three-bag household limit and more restrictions for construction and industrial waste.

Staff proposed changes to committee of the whole March 9. It came in response to a series of reports, including a service delivery review, recommending the municipality alter how it runs its landfills.

The changes include reducing hours at the Kennisis Lake, Harcourt and West Bay landfills. The municipality will also change its weekly residential waste limit from one cubic tonne to three clear bags.

“Gone are the days we go to the dump whenever you want,” Roberts said. “People will adjust to whatever the changes are. I think we have to be fair to the whole township … Everything we are doing in this sector is costing more and more year after year.”

The changes are proposed to take effect May 1. Kennisis Lake will lose Saturday openings in the winter. Harcourt will lose its Thursday winter hours and in the summer shift to 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays and holiday Mondays. West Bay will now be closed on Tuesdays and have its summer hours shifted to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday and 12-6 p.m. on holiday Monday. West Guilford will open for two additional hours on Sundays in the summer. Staff justified the changes based on traffic counts and expect to save more than $17,000 annually.

Council also agreed to stop the collection of asbestos-containing materials, contaminated soil, large demolition projects. It is also upping its construction and demolition waste fees from $50 per cubic yard to $60 and from $100 per cubic yard to $120 if it contains garbage or recycling.

Landfills will also not accept five or more cubic yards of garbage from industrial, commercial, or institutional generators and will not accept compacted garbage.

Environmental manager, John Watson, said many recommendations have come forward from complementary reports well-researched by consultants.

“Dysart is not necessarily leading the pack,” Watson said. “In some instances, we would be catching up to those practices in neighbouring communities.”

However, council refused several of the changes, including upping fees from $2 to $5 for several household waste violations, such as containing 10 per cent visible recycling.

Council did not come to a decision on yard waste, currently accepted for free. Staff proposed a $5 fee for bags and $10 per cubic yard of loose material. They directed staff to bring a follow-up report with more information.

Deputy Mayor Patrick Kennedy said he was concerned about increased confrontation and slowdowns by upping fees. He added that people could dump yard waste on the roadside.

“This looks like minimum revenue, maximum aggravation for our taxpayers,” Kennedy said.

Council also considered a proposal to open the Haliburton landfill up from five to seven days per week due to high traffic counts but balked at the $52,226 annual price tag for staffing that.

“It’s a lot of money,” Roberts said. “We have a lot of opportunity for people to get to the landfill.”

The slate of changes will be forwarded to council for discussion and final approval. Council's next meeting is March 23.

Joseph Quigley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Highlander