Posted October 29, 2013
The City of Guelph applied for an award from the Recycling Council of Ontario for its waste diversion and communications accomplishment.
And it received a gold rating.
The trouble with these self-serving awards is that the facts are left out.
Let’s start with waste diversion, one of the benchmarks for the gold award. Without regard for the criteria, the application failed to explain that 6,400 households in Guelph do not have their waste picked up by the city. Most of this is removed, unsorted, by private contractors and goes to the landfill.
The new $15 million automated cart/bin collection system cannot navigate to service hundreds of residences because the trucks cannot maneuver. Wonder if they explained that the city scrapped an existing collection system and bragged they would save $500,000 a year with the new system. The cost benefit in that calculation is baffling. Spend $15 million and save $500,000 a year?
Does that warrant a gold rating by the Ontario Waste Minimization Award selection committee?
Did the committee consider the cost of operating an Organics Waste Processing Facility (OWPF) that was built three times the needs of the city for the next 23 years? Did they point out that the organics waste processing capacity of the plant is 30,000 tonnes annually but failed to meet that target in 2012? It missed the mark by 12,400 tonnes.
They weren’t told? Neither were the taxpayers.
Winning the gold for communications is almost laughable. The waste management planners imposed a $52 million system on the taxpayers without consulting them. The city entered into contracts with suppliers of which the details are secret. This includes cost of operations, sales of finished material, sales agreements and bonuses, consultant costs and debt funding details. All of which should be made public.
This is yet another example of mushroom management that prevents the taxpayers from learning and understanding how their money is being spent.
This award is nothing but a shallow photo op for the Mayor and her cohorts.