Residents ‘on fire’ by county garbage cart petition to reconsider size

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The Change.org petition started by a Collingwood resident and addressed to Director George Cornell calls on Simcoe County to consider another sizing of the garbage cans as soon as possible

Close to 1,000, some Simcoe County residents band together to voice their frustration at the one-size-fits-all carts chosen by staff and Simcoe County Council for the new curbside garbage collection contract of street.

A new petition started by Dave Dickson, a Collingwood resident, has toured several community Facebook groups in Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Township of Essa and beyond in a local effort to change the size of trash cans offered for automated waste collection, which is expected to be implemented from 1 November.

The petition – addressed to Simcoe County Reeve George Cornell – currently has around 950 signatures and is growing.

“Often too many people just accept the status quo. We are proud of our neighborhood. We want to keep our house beautiful, ”said Dickson CollingwoodToday.ca.

“I guess there are a lot of other people who are just as excited about this as we are,” he said.

Dickson lives in the Blue Fairway subdivision in Collingwood. Problems being felt in the Blue Fairway community over Simcoe County’s rollout of automated cart collection prompted the formation of a petition for Blue Fairway residents only last month, which garnered approximately 69 signatures and has was sent to the 32 county council members and some staff. .

Dickson believes the cart size issue is spreading beyond his neighborhood and will impact all residents differently – which is why he has started another Change.org petition for all residents of Simcoe County. .

“(A lot) of new developments are high density. Many of the new developments under construction are single-car garages, ”Dickson said. “This is a problem not only here, but also in other developments.”

Dickson began contacting other communities through community message boards on Facebook and said he had read many posts from people in communities in Simcoe County with exactly the same concerns.

“I’m not against it. I think it’s a fantastic idea. I can understand, these poor garbage collectors who collect and have to lift these bins themselves (it’s difficult). The problem I have here is not the choice of size. Toronto and the Region of Peel offered a great choice from the start, ”he said.

Dickson and his wife lived in Mississauga before officially moving to Collingwood in 2017. Although the Region of Peel uses automated cart collection, Dickson notes that they were given a choice of the size of the bins there, and the process. was very user friendly.

Since Dickson and his wife live alone, he estimates that they only half fill their current trash cans and that the new trash cans would be far too big for their trash.

“It’s just overkill for us,” he said.

Dickson says he has corresponded with representatives from Simcoe County on the matter, however, he does not feel heard and says the responses he received are copied from the county’s website.

He is concerned about the lack of public consultation by county staff with residents of Simcoe County prior to contract award to learn about local needs.

“Have they spoken to the owners who actually use them? I feel like they haven’t done their due diligence on this and just rushed it… and we’re going to pay for it, ”he said. “They don’t treat us like we are smart, informed people.”

When joined for comment by CollingwoodToday.ca this week, Simcoe County Reeve George Cornell said research by county staff found that other municipalities that offered wagon size options to launch their programs faced significant challenges on the road because of the exchanges, which informed the county’s decision to choose the one size fits all. universal approach.

“We are listening and our councilors continue to bring forward the comments of their constituents,” said Cornell. “We know that some people with smaller properties, as well as some of our seniors, have shared their comments, similar to those expressed in the online petition. Once these households receive the carts, we hope they can assess if the size is right for them or if they want to share their feedback further through our survey. “

At a waste management workshop on July 27, Willma Bureau, the county’s contracts and collections supervisor, said a public inquiry would be conducted in the spring of 2022 to determine if there is always an appetite for different sizes of trolleys.

At the time, solid waste management director Rob McCullough said the county wanted residents to experience the carts for three to six months before releasing the survey. Once the survey results were returned, a staff report would be presented to council with the results, at which time the council would vote on whether to guide the direction of the cart collection.

“It’s great to see the residents participating and that’s exactly the type of engagement we want after the residents have been using the carts for a while,” Cornell said this week.

Going forward, Dickson said he hopes the petition makes a difference in the minds of Simcoe County councilors and shows that it is not a niche issue. Ideally, he hopes this will encourage councilors to push county staff to start planning to offer other cart sizes before the survey is released.

“They said they were going to wait six months (to do the survey). How long after that will it take them to read all the surveys, another three months? So how long will it take them to act? Maybe three more months? he said.

“That means it would take a full year before action is taken. I would like them to start the motion now,” Dickson said.


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