CITY VIEW – They’re whistling past the graveyard believing garbage won’t be an election issue in 2014

Posted July 15, 2013

The final edition of the waste management schmooze series in the local daily topped them all. It was a political analysis that headlined on page one as “Waste had its day as election issue.”

The writer heads up to the Mayor’s office for comment of whether the 2014 civic election will see waste management as an issue.

Her Worship opined that the next election in October 2014 “may be one of the first elections in a while where waste management won’t be a service area that’s high on people’s agenda.”

I guess the mayor doesn’t get out much these days.

The cart system has already come under fire from those residents living in condominium properties. These are folks who pay for private collection of their waste because the waste management department of the city refuses to pick up their garbage. Not only they are incensed the city won’t reimburse them as is the case in Waterloo, but Guelph has a bylaw that prevents refunds on any service.

Underneath this protest lies the basic strategy of the city to divert waste from the landfill. Note last year some 54,000 tonnes of waste was sent by Guelph to the landfill that could not be processed either by the organics facility nor the recycling plant.

Now the city general manager of waste, Dean Wyman, complains about a slowdown of recyclables. He might look right in his own backyard. There are thousands of Guelph condo residences that are denied waste pick-up even though they pay for it in their taxes. It is ironic that in the past, various city governments approved building of these homes, not understanding that they are denied pre-sorted waste collection.

The writer knows because he lives in a land condominium project and has been paying for unsorted waste pick-up by a private contractor for ten years.

So Mayor, if you believe you can alienate several thousand voters by denying waste management services, then you are whistling past the graveyard.

This is just the beginning and no matter what the administration says to defend its waste management policies, the problems and protests will grow.

Only Coun. Cam Guthrie expressed some reservations about the issue going to the back of the bus in the next election. He mentions privatization of the waste operation may be an issue and one worth discussing.

How can you claim things are going very well when thousands of households are not being serviced by the city’s waste management operation?

You can’t and it isn’t.

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10 Comments

Filed under Between the Lines

10 responses to “CITY VIEW – They’re whistling past the graveyard believing garbage won’t be an election issue in 2014

  1. We live in the last phase of the bins- a nightmare is brewing as we back onto a tiny laneway between Woolwich and Dufferin. It will be impossible.

  2. Glen N. Tolhurst

    The issue will be not so much about garbage per se, but rather the monumental $53 million cost of mismanaging the whole waste file. The financial illiteracy of the mayor and her tax and spend councilor and administration buddies that accept, in fact promote, the unmitigated spending of tax dollars for their pet garbage project is the issue, now and in the next election. There were solutions available that didn’t involve horrendous capital expenditures; however, their dogmatic promotion of Guelph as the green pied piper resulted in money being wasted.

  3. joseph phelan

    The mayor refuses to be held accountable by anyone. It continues to boggle the mind how such an out of touch tyrant continues at the helm and is even more astounding that there may be a possibility that she is at the helm of a University. Only thing she should head up is the front of an unemployment line. She’d probably screw that up too!!!!!

  4. Let’s do like Barrie and charge for recycling—since it is 4-6x more expensive that conventional landfill.

    • cantheocon: Interesting point. Trouble is, we are paying for recycling through out taxes. With the statement that the new organics plant made a $40,000 profit last year, we wonder how that was achieved particularly when the debt costs were not included. We must also wonder about the ability of the Farbridge administration to get the handle on anything financial. It is self evident when they overspent their own budgets in the past four years by $24,771,000. What can you believe from these folks?

    • joseph phelan

      We can expect bankruptsy….Detroit did it….

  5. Jerry

    HI Gerry
    Believe nothing they say and watch the rats abandon ship when 2014
    rolls around.
    I am sure Maggie will not be the only one that jumps off the merry go
    round before it crashes.

    • Jerry: Your description of the city administration being on a merry-go-round is right on. All we taxpayers can do is watch as the carousel goes faster and faster into disaster. It is the height of arrogance for the majority of this council who convince themselves they are doing a great job.

    • joseph phelan

      Isn’t it encouraging to know that there is at least 7 or 8 citizens in Guelph who think the mayor knows what she is doing?

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