Alfred-Plantagenet garbage collection plan under review

by Gregg Chamberlain - EAP
Alfred-Plantagenet garbage collection plan under review
Alfred-Plantagenet Township officials are trying to find a contractor interested in handling garbage collection for the municipality starting next spring. So far no contractors have expressed interest in bidding for the job and that has township officials looking into alternative plans (Photo : Gregg Chamberlain)

Alfred-Plantagenet Township may have to start handling its own garbage collection again.

The township has received no offers for next year’s garbage collection contract. Jonathan Gendron, director for building, planning, engineering and environment, told council during its August 15 session that the original bidding process for the new contract closed June 9 with not a single contractor submitting a proposal.

The township needs to have either a new contract or a plan in place for municipal garbage collection next spring. Administration reissued the proposal call for bids on the contract with August 25 as the submission deadline. Council will receive a report on the results at its next meeting.

Director Gendron told council that the provincial government’s recent changes to how recycling collection is done in Ontario was a common reason most contractors did not submit a bid.

«This was a big factor,» he said.

Effective this October collection of recyclable materials from households, businesses, institutions, and others within municipalities and rural areas are no longer part of any municipal garbage collection program. The provincial government’s new «producer responsible» setup makes the companies that produce items using recycling materials like bottle glass, rubber, and such are responsible for either providing a recycling collection setup themselves or contracting with a business that handles recyclable materials collection. Ottawa-based Cascade will now be responsible to recyclable collection in Alfred-Plantagenet as part of its regional operation.

The provincial government’s new setup means a potential loss of revenue for some garbage contractors. They have less material to collect, which can mean a lower contract rate with their municipal clients. Contractors have to balance their operation expenses, including gasoline or diesel for their trucks and staff wages, compared to the amount of time needed to cover some areas that would be part of their contract.

Recycle Action handled collection of recyclables in the township. The company provided employment and job training at its Hawkesbury sorting facility for people who have difficulty finding employment. Now Recycle Action is looking at reducing its operation and staff because of the provincial government’s new producer-responsible recycling plan for Ontario.

While waiting for results on its second attempt to get bids on a new garbage collection contract, township administration is also looking at other options for the municipality. One possibility may be for the township itself to manage garbage collection. During a later phone interview, Chief Administrator Michel Potvin noted that township staff would first need to determine the legal and financial responsibilities involved, including whether the township would need to purchase its own collection trucks.

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