Curb your Enthusiasm

It’s hard for York Region residents to remain enthusiastic about sorting their waste output if the program that they pay for in their taxes continually fails to deliver. Earlier this year it was reported that a employee from GFL was allegedly assaulted on the job in Newmarket for not taking their trash: http://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/5265044-garbage-man-calls-police-claims-he-was-assaulted-by-2-men-in-newmarket/

A method a little drastic for one Auroran who when the same waste contractor fails to pick-up their trash just mail it to them directly: http://www.therecord.com/news-story/5259194-ontario-man-mails-trash-to-waste-company-after-curbside-snub/

Talk about achieving a 100% waste diversion target. If the Town of Aurora is as serious as they claim about increasing these elusive waste diversion targets they could learn a lot from this resident.

A great deal could also be gleamed from closer scrutinizing their waste contractor.

When GFL isn’t offering to rain $100,000 on outdoor rinks in Toronto here’s an example from last month how it picks up their waste:

Routine mixing of green bin organics with regular garbage has been an issue the City of Toronto has been trying to curb as far back as 2009 according to this Toronto Star article: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2009/08/04/green_bin_program_a_mess.html

This brings me to Stewart Ivol’s letter from the March 25th Auroran here: http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/?p=10191 I reported on the failings of York Region’s Greenbin program in multiple posts which can be read here: https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/tag/york-region-green-bin/

Noor Javed has weighed in on it in her November 18th 2014 piece here: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/11/18/how_green_is_that_bin_york_region_residents_have_reason_to_wonder.html

The comments to this article include one from croozer, who has commented previously on this blog. He says:

“This situation is exactly the sort of silliness that arises when regional and municipal politicians twist themselves into pretzels trying to earn their Green merit badges. They engage in all manner of spin just to claim “diversion rates” bragging rights.”

This summary could be applied to the recent Clear Glad Garbage Bag scheme that the Region was trying to push on Aurora. Given York Region’s abysmal track record in waste diversion methodologies perhaps more municipalities should follow Aurora’s lead and push back. Here’s a November 3rd 2014 piece from Javed that exposes a rather expensive fuck-up from the sunshine list brain trust at the Region: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/11/03/york_region_ends_contract_with_company_turning_garbage_into_fuel_pellets.html Here’s a snippet:

“York Region, impressed with a a “very innovative technology” signed a 20-year contract to have Dongara process at least 100,000 tonnes of garbage every year. Fueled by the chance to improve the region’s diversion rate, York was willing to pay a premium of $95 a tonne, almost $30 more than it would cost to truck it to a landfill. But as of this year, the garbage-to-pellet technology is no longer part of York Region’s waste management strategy. It quietly cancelled the contract with Dongara last summer, after the company reported that it was shutting down.”

WTF? And it gets worse:

“The company was dumping truckloads of garbage into landfills instead of processing it — while charging the region premium rates. And despite millions in upgrades and specialized equipment, Dongara was unable to meet the processing volume it promised to the region. In 2013, only 55,000 tonnes was shipped to Dongara for processing, half of what was agreed in the contract.”

Do the elected members of York Regional council, including Mayor Dawe believe that initiatives like this are “environmentally the right thing for us to be doing”? With all that is going wrong it’s no surprise that Stoufville is exploring the feasibility of breaking away from contracted service with other York Region municipalities: http://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/5329969-stouffville-may-toss-northern-6-garbage-pickup-deal/

A report before Stoufville council claimed the municipality had reaped “considerable cost savings,”

Although an exact figure was not provided the staff mentions that the joint contract was projected to save the N6 as a whole ( Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, Newmarket, King and Whitchurch-Stouffville ) $1 million annually over the life of the contract according to report.

By going for the lowest bidder the Region projected a saving of $1 Million over a 10 year period for all 6 municipalities but it isn’t getting what it paid for.

Neither are we.

Here’s Aurora’s 2015 Solid Waste figures provided via the budget:

waste

Aurora’s politicians defend residential tax increases as being directly proportional to the “higher level of service” the town provides, and with the tender for a new contract expected to be awarded by June 2016 Aurora needs to consider adopting Stoufville’s lead so it can honor its commitment to providing “an exceptional quality of life for all”

One clue included in Stoufville’s report referenced Miller Waste Systems which provided “nothing but exemplary service,” for 20 years.

Something that could go a long way to restoring resident’s enthusiasm.

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