Posted December 6, 2013
A recent consultant’s poll on behalf of the waste management department said people do not want to pay more to divert waste from the landfill.
This was part of a campaign to review the solid waste management program and cast it in stone for the next 20 years. Back in the summer, the city held an open house at Cuttin Fields for residents to obtain information about the future direction of solid waste management. The room had a number of visual aids and members of the consultant’s staff were available to answer questions.
Interestingly, there were no members of the administration present including the Mayor or the Executive Director of Environment, Planning and Engineering, the senior staffer in charge of waste management.
The purpose of this exercise was to emphasize the direction of the 20-year solid waste plan. The primary goal is to divert waste from going into the landfill. Last year almost half of all waste collected in Guelph ended up in the landfill, more than 48,000 tonnes.
The mayor has often stated that the goal was to divert waste from the landfill. That was the excuse for spending $33 million on a compost processing facility that is currently operating at only two-thirds capacity.
Between September 12 and October 31, a consultant conducted a survey over the telephone of 400 randomly-selected households. Another option was to reply online. In all there were responses from 209 residents.
The results were surprising, including the high numbers supporting waste to energy instead of diverting to the landfill. Some 75 percent of the phone responders and 68 per cent of the online responders supported (dare I say it?) Incineration of waste to create heat and electricity.
Also responders were against spending more money to manage waste.
While this poll is a strong repudiation of composting wet waste it is not conclusive.
What it reveals is that The Farbridge administration’s determination to divert waste from the landfill by composting, has been rejected. Seven years ago when the Mayor and her cohorts took over the administration, they chose composting over incineration.
Today we have a composting facility that is an overbuilt, labour intensive white elephant that masquerades as a solution to divert waste from the landfill.
On top of that, millions have been spent developing the Dunlop Drive waste management centre including $2.3 million this year, on a second scale to weigh vehicles, plus other alleged improvements.
So, never ask a question if you don’t know the answer.
This is only one of a number of expensive mistakes that the Farbridge administration has foisted on the city and its residents. There is more to come.
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