At the door – Garbage pick-up

Periodically I’ll be talking about issues that come up at the door as I’m out walking and knocking. The first one is the most talked about one – garbage pick-up.

As we all know, Emterra has had a number of problems over this past year meeting timelines and expectations. While the workers are out there killing themselves (both in the scorching heat and humidity of the summer as well as the frigid winter temperatures and conditions) we keep running into the same problems, week after week. Garbage pick-up delays, sometimes stretching two or three days, while garbage sits on the curb waiting to be torn apart by animals and blown down the street.

This first became a problem back at Christmas; I know, because my garbage didn’t get picked up for two weeks. At that time, I brought a motion to Council that was passed unanimously:

WHEREAS residents of St. Catharines and the Niagara Region have been experiencing waste collection delays for several months, before the start of winter weather; and

WHEREAS waste collection is the responsibility of Niagara Region and is a core public service provided to taxpayers; and

Whereas Emterra has not been fulfilling its contractual obligations with Niagara Region for waste collection.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that St. Catharines City Council urges Niagara Region to review the Emterra contract and compare and explore alternate waste collection service providers.

Since then, the situation has clearly gotten worse, and the Region has still not yet acted.

I urge all residents to speak to the Regional Council candidates that come to their door. If they’re currently Councillors, ask why this is still happening. If they’re candidates, ask them if they’re committed to getting this sorted as one of their first orders of business. As the motion above says – this is a core public service. If the Region can’t get those right, what else is being missed?

At a City level, I will continue to push staff to work with their Regional counterparts to find a solution to the problem.

** If you’ve missed your pick-up, keep your garbage out, the delays will not stop the pick-up from occuring. Call 905-356-4141 (or Toll-free: 1-800-594-5542) to report delays.