Simcoe County’s controversial new automated garbage cart system topped fencing discussions, in our comment sections and on local social media in 2021
A new Simcoe County-wide waste management contract has made waves in Collingwood and beyond in 2021.
The controversial new automated curbside garbage collection contract with Miller Waste went into effect on November 1.
A sticking point for many residents has been the county’s choice to operate with a unique approach, which has resulted in the county obtaining 240-liter garbage carts, 360-liter recycling carts, and recycling carts. 120 liter organics for all homeowners across Simcoe County. The approach raised issues of size too small for some owners and too large for others, as well as concerns about accessibility.
In June 2020, the county council approved the switch to the new automated cart collection system as part of a possible $ 31.5 million contract that will be implemented at the end of 2021. The collection contract was awarded to Miller Waste Services.
After negotiations at the time, Willma Bureau, the county’s contracts and collections supervisor, said costs were estimated to be 28% lower than expected.
In November 2020, the county council voted in favor of choosing Rehrig Pacific to manufacture the carts.
At that time, several councilors raised concerns such as the size of the garbage cans, the way people living in townhouses were supposed to put the garbage cans in small spaces, the way residents of rural areas were supposed to hang out larger trash cans, how the disposal of old trash cans would take place, how the county would fix broken bins, and how the locking mechanisms would work to keep animals out.
In April, county councilors gave approval to proceed with a waste collection pilot project in New Tecumseth, which would give condo owners in Green Briar / Briar Hill the option of opting for a smaller cart. .
This summer, when all residents received letters from Simcoe County regarding the new system, many began to express similar concerns, with some asking for smaller cart options. In Collingwood, a petition was started in July by residents of the Blue Fairway subdivision asking for smaller cart options and was sent to manager George Cornell.
Soon after, a petition started by Dave Dickson, a Collingwood resident, toured several community Facebook groups in Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Essa Township and beyond in a local effort to lobby for other bin sizing options for automated garbage collection, and was also sent to Director Cornell. This petition reached approximately 2,900 signatures.
The Collingwood Downtown Business Improvement Area also raised concerns that the new bins would create accessibility, cleaning and snow removal issues in many downtown spaces.
And the voices of residents and local businesses were heard.
At a special workshop held on October 26, the county council voted in favor of the swivel steering and allowing other sizes.
Some concerns remain about the accessibility of the carts.
Orders for different-sized wagons can be placed with the county from mid-January, with the rollout of the exchanges set to begin in February.
Requested cart swaps will be processed free of charge until July 2022. If a home changes owners, an initial cart swap will also be free. However, after July 2022, cart size exchanges will cost $ 50 per bin exchanged and will be limited to once per year exchanges.
“We are not a one-size-fits-all county,” Bradford West Gwillimbury Deputy Mayor James Leduc said at the October 26 special council workshop. âI like to say that we are a county of Simcoe with 16 different neighborhoods. We must now see it from that point of view. “