Whitewater will go ahead with part two of leaf pick-up project

·4 min read

Whitewater Region -- There will be a special leaf and yard waste curbside collection in Whitewater Region, but the date has yet to be determined.

The is the second part of the pilot project approved during the April 21 council meeting, noted Steve Hodson, environmental services superintendent, at the Sept. 1 council meeting.

Explaining the background, he noted the week of May 10 to 13, a spring leaf and yard waste curbside collection took place. To advise residents of the event, it was advertised on the radio, the township’s Facebook and website and a flyer distributed via Canada Post.

It was expected to cost anywhere between $4,500 and $16,000, depending on the number of residents who took advantage of the collection and the amount collected, Mr. Hodson said.

During the four days, a total of 30.25 hours was required to make the 258 stops, or roughly 7.75 percent of the usual curbside stops during a regular week for the waste and recycling contractor, he said. The cost for the spring portion of the pilot project was just over $10,000.

The fall collection is estimated to cost between $9,000 and $16,000, Mr. Hodson said.

Chief Administrative Officer Robert Tremblay said if council does not proceed with the fall portion of the pilot project, a motion will be required, since it was originally approved by a motion.

Covering the costs of the fall portion of the program can be covered within the existing budget, he said.

“It is a pilot, so it’s a test to see if it’s a program that is viable into the future,” Mr. Tremblay said.

The spring pick-up was based on a short time frame and it was successful, he said.

Councillor Dave Mackay noted there is less leaf and yard waste collection in the spring than the fall.

Mr. Hodson agreed, saying, people would prefer a fall collection more than a spring collection.

Councillor Neil Nicholson said it was nice to see 225 urban households take advantage of the program.

“It’s just unfortunate we have to pay to go past certain places that are not going to use it,” he said. “From a rural perspective, it’s a hard pill to swallow because they can just throw it in the back 40. From the urban perspective, they see the value of it.”

Reviewing the numbers, he said 10 percent of the township population used the collection, and in the fall, he expects closer to 1,000 households to use it.

Councillor Charlene Jackson recalled the huge amount of complaining that went on because the collection was done too late. Unfortunately, there was an early spring and most of the people had disposed of the leaf and yard waste themselves.

“We have no control over the weather,” she said. “It was certainly well received by those who were able to use the service.”

It’s important to pick a date sooner rather than later so people know when to start preparing for the pickup, she added.

“I think we’ll have a much higher number in the fall,” Coun. Jackson said.

Mayor Mike Moore agreed.

“I’d like to see the fall pickup go ahead with more notice,” he said. “It’ll give us a better idea of the figures and how or if we proceed with this again.”

Councillor Chris Olmstead said one year of the service is not enough to get a feeling of whether the project will be successful.

“I’d like to see it go ahead next year,” he said.

Following a question of when a report will be prepared following the fall pickup, public works manager Lane Cleroux said the report is usually back the week of the event.

“We are thinking of October…it’s tricky to pick one date, because if it’s too early there’s not enough leaves, and if it’s too late, there may be snow.”

He noted discussions with the contractor, Miller Waste, are happening now, because it has to fit into the schedule.

Mr. Tremblay said Miller will give staff the dates available, staff will pick the date and advise council and notify the public.

Connie Tabbert, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader

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