Municipality of Bayham residents are one step closer to having a bulk item curbside pick-up.
Following a suggestion by Mayor Ed Ketchabaw at an earlier meeting, council reviewed a staff report looking at the options during a May meeting.
Bayham previously had a large item pick-up but it was discontinued due to excessive costs. With a positive cash position at the end of 2021 and residents wanting a curbside pick-up, Mayor Ketchabaw suggested a one-time pick-up this year and directed staff to look at options.
In his report, Steve Adams, manager of public works, said Norfolk County recently brought back its large item program. Charging $25 for a pick-up, which must be booked, the municipality was in a break-even position after nine months of operating the program.
Mr. Adams said Bayham’s waste contractor did not recommend going with a one-time municipality-wide pick-up as it’s too hard to predict the volume and it would be beyond their abilities.
Instead, options of monthly or semi-annual pick-ups were presented. Mr. Adams said a semi-annual pick-up also has the uncertainty of the amounts of waste to collect for both the waste contractor and municipal finances. He recommended a system similar to what Norfolk is using where residents pay a small fee for pick-up and the municipality covers any difference.
“For a program like this, a monthly program, they have the staff,” he said.
He recommended a three-month trial to look at the program. Mr. Adams also gave an option of limiting the pick-up to five or seven items per household, as other municipalities do. His estimate was the cost would be $100,000 for the trial. His recommendation was to charge a small fee to those needing a bulk collection for the trial period, and starting it in the summer.
“There’s no reason we couldn’t come back in winter months or spring to reduce that fee,” he said.
CAO Thomas Thayer said a trial could also be done without a fee.
“The sooner we can implement a trial the better. This is something the residents have asked for,” Deputy Mayor Rainey Weisler said.
Council voted to have staff research the financial impacts of a three-month trial and report back at the next meeting.
Jeff Helsdon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express