Guelph Waste Management dances to the Detroit hustle

Posted April 24, 2014

Let’s start with the city’s reported cost of Waste Management for 2012 sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in June last year.

Operational costs were $13,732,143. Employee costs were $5,070,484 for a total of $18,803,627.

Offsetting some of this was $3,105,008 in revenue. It includes sale of recyclables and compost plus user fees.

So the net operating cost is $13,697,619 operating our overbuilt, multi-million dollar Waste Management Innovation Centre (WMIC). That equals a $1.07 for every one of the estimated 128,000 residents. But when you factor in the 6,400 households that do not receive city waste collection, the cost jumps for the average household.

Another factor is the Region of Waterloo failing to meet its commitment to supply 20,000 tones of wet waste to the compost facility. In 2012 it only shipped 9,000 tonnes.

Whoever said if you build it, they will come, was nuts.

On April 28, the staff is recommending to city council that a second shift be added at the recycle centre to accommodate some 28,000 tonnes of Detroit recyclables that will be shipped to the Guelph plant. The Detroit-based contractor, Recyclable Materials Marketing (ReMM) and Rizzo Environmental Services, said they would stop shipping currently 12,000 tonnes a year, unless Guelph was prepared to hire a second shift to handle the increased tonnage.

Did you know that you financed the Material Recovery Facility that is overbuilt to accommodate material from outside the country? That’s in line with the city Waste Management plan that included spending $33 million on an Organic Waste Management Facility that has failed to operate at capacity in 2012. It too was built at three times the capacity of the needs of the city for the next 20 years.

Did you vote for that?

So it looks like the strategy is to hire more people to lose more money processing Detroit garbage. The staff report claims it will create a surplus of $304,400 a year. That’s a long way from reducing the $13,697,619 deficit operating cost of the complex.

The pregnant question is why were millions spent creating this complex that exceeds Guelph’s needs for 20 years?

Why are citizens forced to pay for these Farbridge-inspired facilities that depend on feedstock from jurisdictions as far away as Detroit?

Did we tell you that this proposal means that trucks will run up and down the 401 delivering material to be sorted and taken back to Detroit. This is part of the Farbridge inspired environmental plan?

It is yet another misguided scheme to satisfy the Farbridge master plan to change Guelph, to solidify her vision of a new dawn city, created under her leadership.

The problem is she and her administration can’t add. They don’t understand financial statements and are out to lunch in budget forecasting. Their own official statements show they missed budget forecasting by $24 million in just three years, 2009 through 2011.

They move money around paying Paul at the expense of Peter. Reserves have been eviscerated in their lust to spend your money.

The capper came with the Urbacon ruling in which a judge of the Superior Court ruled the city was responsible for firing the contractor of the new City Hall.

This issue alone can cost the citizens up to $25 million in costs, yet to be determined.

Yet the administration stumbles along continuing to recommend daft schemes that ultimately end up costing more than anticipated.

Waste Management is one city department that needs to throw open the window and let the zephyr of reality flow in.






Filed under Between the Lines

8 responses to “Guelph Waste Management dances to the Detroit hustle

  1. geo

    Were going to import garbage from the USA and still post a massive deficit.
    Only in Guelph.

  2. Jerry

    Was that not the platform that Farbridge ran on in 2006?.That it is stupid to
    have to import or export garbage and that we should process our own
    waste material.Was that not the whole premise of building the 52 million
    waste recovery plant?.But then farbridge and her cohorts on council were all in “farbridge land”were all the good people would rally around and
    become all good enviromentalists.I agree with recycling and all but building the montosity we call the waste resource centre was a waste of money.
    But then again it seems to be the theme of this adminastration.

  3. Oracle

    Gerry: Thought for today!

    Any Politician who ROBS Peter to PAY Paul can always count on the support of PAUL!

    The problem is to get rid of the Paul’s, 😦

  4. Don

    Where can I read the report referenced in the first paragraph? Thanks

    • Don: The information is found in the city’s annual Financial Information Report (FIR) that is filed annually to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. The only one available right now is the 2012 FIR because the 2013 report is not available until June. Hope this helps.

  5. Joe

    I think that’s $107 and not $1.07. Ouch !!

  6. geo

    According to the guy who runs the giant garburettor in Guelph we risk losing the present amount of garbage provided to us by a company named Rizzo unless we agree to take the Detroit garbage too.
    Is this not blackmail?
    As well there is no signed contract between Guelph and Rizzo right now.
    I hesitate but I’m going to say it; this stinks to high heaven.

  7. geo

    The state of the waste management in Guelph, by itself, is reason enough to have the City’s books audited.

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