Blue Box for recyclables? What in hell are they talking about?

An insert in the Friday Mercury sponsored by the Association of Ontario Municipalities (AMO) urged Ontarians to “ Keep using that Blue Box and learn what shouldn’t go in.”

Well, that message did not get through to Guelph’s Executive Director of Environmental Services, Dr. Janet Laird who was the author of the ill-fated three bag system of sorting garbage in 2002. In 2006, after the roof of the composting plant was declared unsafe, the material was sent to a New York incinerator costing $85 a tonne.

The Blue Box has bee dead for ten years. Guelph’s new $47 million waste composting plant hits its stride in 2014. The estimated operating costs of the new plant have never been stated by the city’s Waste Management Services. Outside experts estimate the cost of operating the new plant range from $314 to $375 a tonne.

Add to that the 20-year life span of the plant and the cost of paying for it and you have a very long-term financial commitment. Taxpayers can revel in the dubious right of being the “most innovative in waste management in the province.” Not our words but the administration.

So when the friends of the Library protest that the new Downtown library is not included in the 10-year city capital forecast, they can look down Watson Road. That’s where your money went.

As an aside, planning a ten-year capital forecast is a mug’s game. None of the authors will be around to judge whether their forecast was accurate. Clue: it won’t be!

This is yet another obfuscation of the real underlying financial problems this city faces. There is no capacity to borrow money until the present debt ceiling is lowered. Folks, they’ve already spent the money.

To assuage the taxpayer’s anxiety over the elimination of the new downtown library and South end recreation centre, the city announced the removal to two stores on Wyndam Street to prepare for the new downtown library.

This is an example of crass disregard for financial acuity or the taxpayer’s interests.

 

 

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