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County will now pick up waste in containers without pre-approval

by Patrick Raftis

GUELPH - All Wellington County residents may now put their waste in standard size garbage containers for collection.

Since the county’s Solid Waste Services (SWS) division assumed responsibility for waste management in 2001, it has not allowed waste set out for curbside collection in urban areas to be in garbage containers - aside from official user-pay bags.

“There were several reasons for the implementation of this policy, including preventing loose items from being placed in garbage cans, collection efficiency and to protect the health and safety of the waste collectors by limiting the size of garbage containers,” states SWS manager Das Siligo in a staff report.

However, Siligo notes the initial concerns regarding garbage containers have not been commonplace.

“Further, over the years many county residents have stated that the primary reason they don’t use the curbside collection program is out of concern that animals will disturb their garbage.”

An exception to the policy allows rural residents to utilize containers, while urban residents could request an exemption due to health concerns or disturbance of their garbage bags by animals.  Exemptions were contingent on a visit and approval by SWS staff.

The staff report contained a proposal that county residents in urban areas be allowed to use a standard-size garbage container without prior approval to do so.

“This would standardize the use of garbage cans with urban and rural residents and would simplify participation in the program by removing barriers to its use,” the report explains.

“The proposed policy change would be more user-friendly for residents and ... provide for a better utilization of staff time by negating the need for SWS staff to travel to residents around the county, approve their container and apply a sticker.”

Garbage placed in oversized, or inappropriate container will not be collected and collectors and the residents will be advised of the reason.

Garbage placed in containers must also be in a user-pay bag and only one bag per container is allowed.

“People now if they are concerned with animals … they can use a standard garbage can and it will be picked up,” said solid waste services chair councillor Don McKay.

In an email to the Advertiser, Siligo confirmed  the county considers a standard container to have a maximum volume of 125 litres (33 gallons), a maximum height of 95cm (38 inches) and a maximum width of 60cm (24 inches).

“These dimensions are typical of what is sold in hardware stores, which is why they are considered ‘standard size,’” Siligo explained.

Council approved the recommendation to amend its bylaw to recognize the change in policy.

November 10, 2017

 
 

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Wayne Knibbs
November 16 2017 | 09:28
I was pleased to read that now all county residents may put their waste in a standard size garbage container. So I went a bought a standard size garbage container which met the size requirements published in the Wellington Advertiser and placed a single yellow bag of garbage in it and placed it at the curb this morning. Guess what? After dropping some grandchildren off at school I returned home to find the garbage bin untouched with the yellow garbage bag still inside. Did I not understand the newspaper article correctly? Has the change in policy not been implemented yet? Has the news not filtered down to the pickup crews? Can someone set me straight? GW Knibbs Hillsburgh...
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