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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Editorials Central Elgin Garbage Collection Changing

by Doug Harvey

After many years of outside contractor garbage collection services Central Elgin staff have developed a plan to do garbage collection in-house. The reasons for doing this are many and one of the best could translate into long term savings to the tax-payer.

Frequent issues of truck breakdowns by the current contractor have caused several incomplete or delayed collection services that have caused a multitude of complaints by Central Elgin residents, and trying to meet the Waste-Free Ontario Act waste diversion target of 60% by 2022. Central Elgin's current waste diversion rate is approximately 26.7%. Central Elgin staff indicated that it will not be possible to achieve a 60% diversion rate unless the municipality implements organic collections through a green bin program.

Central Elgin staff indicated that it would not possible to keep waste collection costs in line with current costs while implementing an organics collection program without changing the existing level of service on one of the other waste streams (garbage or recycling). Currently, it takes 5 collection days for collection of garbage (using a one person packer) and 5 days for collection of recyclables utilizing a two stream collection truck (single person side loader truck). In order to implement collection of organics and to control costs it would be necessary to do so utilizing a collection vehicle that could also be utilized for another stream of waste.

The most viable and preferred option for sharing equipment would be to utilize an Automated Side Loader truck for the collection of organics as well as garbage. An Automated Side Loader vehicle also allows for waste to be picked up utilizing a cart system, commonly referred to as "Green Bins". If a bi-weekly collection of garbage and organics was implemented with each stream collected on alternating weeks, the same collection vehicle, an Automated Side Loader truck could be used for both streams reducing costs, and eliminating bag tags. Each residence would also be provided with a green coloured cart for organics and a black coloured cart for garbage, both carts compatible with the Automated Side Loader collection system for easy one-person collection.

The collection of recyclables would remain weekly and would continue to be done with a two stream manual side loader truck. It would not be possible to use an Automated Side Loader truck for recyclables as Central Elgin currently utilizes a two stream recycling system where containers are separated from paper and cardboard at the source. This two stream system is necessary to be able to continue to process recyclables at the London MRF. It simply is not possible to share a collection vehicle between the recycling and organics stream.

Currently, Council approved an extension to the weekly collection services contract with Emterra Environmental for the provision of Curb-side Collection services of garbage and recycling for one year expiring on May 31st, 2020. Due to many questions and concerns raised by Council members regarding the six service levels proposed and the way in which the service would be delivered, Council approved the creation of a steering committee comprised of the following members of Council, Councillor Roberts, Councillor Crevits, Deputy Mayor Marks, with staff support from the CA0, Director of Finance, Director of Physical Services and Paul van der Werf of 2cg Waste Management Consulting Services.

As this collection issue affects the entire Municipality and any decision made could raise taxes, or decrease services, the final decision on what action to take should not rest entirely with an inexperienced Council and should have considerable taxpayer input. The plan options to consider follow this article.

Option 1 - Private Contractor - Continue with weekly collection services of Garbage and Recycling.

Essentially the level of service proposed in Option 1 would remain unchanged from what is currently provided. The municipality would utilize a private contractor to pickup garbage and recycling on a weekly basis throughout the year. In addition to this collection the municipality would also pick up leaf and yard waste in the built up areas of the municipality for 4 weeks in the spring and fall. The remainder of the year there would not be any collection of organics and leaf and yard waste would be prohibited from the waste stream. Staff would note that it would anticipate a small increase to the per unit contract price bid to account for a contractor acquiring new equipment. The projected total contract cost of service over a 13 year period is anticipated to be approximately $12.55 million

Option 2 - Private Contractor - Weekly collection of Recyclables, Biweekly collection of garbage and organics rotating schedule.

Staff would note that if Council elected to implement a service delivery model that included the provision of curb side collection of organics with collection being biweekly rotating with garbage collection the unit costs would be similar to what is currently being experienced by the municipality with a small increase for increased equipment costs.

Option 3 - In house - Continue with weekly collection services of Garbage and Recycling.

Essentially the level of service proposed in Option 3 would remain unchanged from what is currently provided and what is outlined in option 1. The main difference is the service would be conducted with municipal staff. The municipality would utilize municipal staff to pickup garbage and recycling on a weekly basis throughout the year. In addition to this collection the municipality would also pick up leaf and yard waste in the built up areas of the municipality for 4 weeks in the spring and fall. The remainder of the year there would not be any collection of organics and leaf and yard waste would be prohibited from the waste stream. Staff would note that it would anticipate a small increase to the per unit contract price bid to account for a contractor acquiring new equipment. The projected total contract cost of service over a 13 year period is anticipated to be approximately $10.32 million

Option 4 - In house - Weekly collection of Recyclables, Biweekly collection of garbage and organics rotating schedule.

Option 4 is the same service level as what is noted in Option 2 noted above. This option would provide for weekly collection of recyclables and organics and garbage being collected biweekly on a rotating basis. The majority of the increased cost is the purchase of Carts for Organics as well as for Garbage. As well, it will be necessary to purchase three trucks for the provision of the service. The life cycle for a truck is proposed to not exceed 7 years unless it is a spare truck. When comparing Option 1 with this Option the municipality would recover the initial capital purchase cost of the trucks in Year 8 from the Operational savings of bringing the service "in house" as well the municipalities equipment replacement reserve would have sufficient funds in it to replace the trucks the second time by year 14. Every year after that the municipality would realize an operational savings when compared with contracting out the existing level of service (weekly collection of blue box and garbage and twice annual leaf and yard waste). The projected total contract cost of service over a 14 year period is anticipated to be approximately $11.08 million

Option 5 - Private Contractor - Weekly collection of Recyclables, weekly collection of garbage and weekly collection of organics.

Staff would note that if Council elected to implement a service delivery model that included the provision of curb side weekly collection of all three waste streams (organics, recycling and garbage) this would be a true increase in the level of service to residents. This scenario would see that each residence and commercial property would have weekly collection of organics and garbage utilizing 35 gallon carts and recyclables utilizing two stream blue boxes. The majority of the increased cost is the purchase of carts for organics and for garbage in addition to a third truck being put on the road weekly. The projected total contract cost of service over an 13 year period is anticipated to be approximately $14.71 million

Option 6 - In house - Weekly collection of Recyclables, weekly collection of garbage and weekly collection of organics.

Similar to option 5 above, this scenario would implement a service delivery model that includes the provision of curb side weekly collection of all three waste streams (organics, recycling and garbage). This difference between this option and Option 5 is that it would mean the service is delivered utilizing internal forces. As with Option 5, this would be a true increase in the level of service to residents. This scenario would see that each residence and commercial property would have weekly collection of organics and garbage utilizing 35 gallon carts and recyclables utilizing two stream blue boxes. The majority of the increased cost is the purchase of Carts for Organics as well as for Garbage in addition to the purchase of a fourth truck and 4 additional staff members from what currently exists in the Physical Services Department. The projected total contract cost of service over an 13 year period is anticipated to be approximately $14.21 million


Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2019 11:28:35 AM EST

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