There they go again, putting the cart before the horse

Posted June 20, 2012

First. they built a $33 million wet waste composting plant that has yet to reach operation.

Then they announced the residents would start using carts, bins, whatever current bureaucratic nomenclature calls them, to collect their waste instead of the three-bag plastic bag system.

Now the planning and building, engineering and environment committee of Council has amended the bylaw stating the bins may be stored in any exterior location except in the front yard where they must be located adjacent to a building or fence.

Maybe you could put your bins on the front lawn and plant a flower garden around them.

Coun. Bob Bell stated the obvious that row-housing residents should not be forced to store their bins in front of the home. Logic would dictate there is a front and a back of a connected row house and no easy access to the rear to bring the bins around to the front curb.

So there you have it.

The city builds a compost plant that isn’t working after eight months of testing. The province informs the city that wet waste in plastic bags cannot be delivered to the plant. Solution, upgrade the entire waste collection system costing more than $15 million buying bins/carts for every home and business and special trucks to pick the containers up.

Now they figure out that many homes in the city cannot store the big bins due to a lack of garage or front yard space.

Was this huge project really thought out before it was executed?

Citizens are waiting for the other shoe to fall.

Did they consider moving the heavy bins to the curb in winter when snowfall hits the city or temperatures drop?

What about seniors? Can they cope with manhandling large bins to the roadside?

What about vermin getting into the bins and spreading the contents?

How are odours controlled if bins are stored inside?

What happens to those folks who are physically unable to get the bins to the curb?

How is vandalism going to be controlled?

Did anyone on Janet Laird’s staff bring these matters up before the contract was executed?

You can take great comfort in the fatuous statement by committee chairperson Coun. Leanne Piper: “I have great confidence the citizens of Guelph will be great neighbours.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

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8 Comments

Filed under Between the Lines

8 responses to “There they go again, putting the cart before the horse

  1. Ruby

    Hi Gerry,
    Ms. Farbridge also made some inane statement as to how she has confidence that Guelphites will figure out the details re: bins/carts.

    One of my neighbours struggles with the current system not because she is elderly but because she is lazy and dense.

    The green bin is the worst of all. Cleaning that will be nasty and most people are just not going to do it. Stink, mess, critters and bad feelings between neighbours.

    And how completely irresponsible and mean-spirited for the mayor and her friends to impose this system on older folks who are clearly going to have trouble with moving the carts/bins and cleaning them out.

    Such narcissism.

  2. R&J

    We have concernes with the green compost. We will be looking into a high end composter for our yard. If more of us are doing this, the city will have to get their compostables from Toronto. The question we have is, do all the compostables that are transported to Guelph have no plastic bags?
    The Mayor and her ilk are living in LaLa land if they really believe we will all be happy neighbours because they think so.

    • R&J: This is what happens when control of city council falls into the hands of ideological special interests. In this case the environmentalists and the heritage protection interests have had their way for almost six years.The compost plant was overbuilt and the city, through the contractor’s agent, brokered a deal with the city of Waterloo to ship its wet waste to Guelph. Even with that, to complete the testing of the plant to meet contracted specifications, they will import 900 tones of wet waste from Hamilton. It’s noteworthy that the contractor that built the compost plant, Maple Reinders, also built the plant serving Hamilton.

  3. geo

    All the support for this system on city council came from the people who work for or are some how connected to the University of Guelph. I equate working for a university with thinking for a living.
    Considering the results after a second try at this composting plant I would suggest a serious re-thinking of who represents Guelphites at City Hall come the next municipal election.

    • Geo: Love your description of those working at a University are “thinking for a living.” It is a pity that those on council connected to the University left their thinking caps at home. Our University is one of Canada’s top post secondary institutions but like real life, nobody’s perfect.

  4. sifad

    At a Ward 4 meeting recently , I posed the question to Janet Laird regarding the bins. I first asked about the trial that was run with said bins in the late 1980’s. There were three trial areas in the city, and ours had the bins. Over the period of more than a year, the result of the trial/test was that the bins were not cost effective nor efficient, so they were removed. The most efficient proved to be what we are using now. I then asked if it was not true that the Ministry of the Environment would not allow the Wet/Dry plant to reopen unless Guelph switched to the bin system, and disallowed plastic bags. I had to ask at least three times to get a truthful “Yes.” I also have repeatedly asked for the report from the original trial, but no luck!

  5. geo

    I believe these carts should be stored on the front lawns of every councillor who voted in favour of this hair brained, no chance of success, laughable, money eating ,pandering to the tree huggers, legacy to a pompous arrogant mayor whose never had real job, property value destroying eyesore.
    As a matter of fact if these people could make garbage disappear the way they make tax dollars do we’d have to create a garbage museum just so we could remember what it looked like. I’m sure the people who live around this civic embarrassment could tell us what it smelled like!

    • Geo: You really nailed realty on the garbage bin collection system. I reckon 20 years from now we’ll still be paying for this adventure foisted on us by the Farbridge ideologues on council. Because of their majority, the people are powerless to stop this and other costly experiments in heritage, the environment and social engineering.

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