| Mar 08, 2007


Feature Article - March 8, 2007

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Feature Article - March 8, 2007

Big changes proposed for waste management in South FrontenacbyJeff Green

Gary Davison was elected as Mayor of South Frontenac last fall after campaigning for the gradual amalgamation of services in the township.

Now, five months later, a proposal from the township’s Sustainability Committee would see the amalgamation of one of the most diverse services in the township: waste management.

A motion was brought forward to Tuesday night’s meeting from the township’s sustainability committee which entailed that “all Landfill Sites should fall under the responsibility of the township as a whole.”

This proposal came about in the wake of an Organizational Review of township services that was completed earlier this winter.

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Currently, each of the four districts does different things with garbage. In Portland and Loughborough, there is curb-side pickup and the garbage is dumped in district managed landfill sites. Bedford residents bring their own garbage to one of four different sites. In Storrington, there is curb-side pickup but the waste goes into external landfills and tipping fees are paid.

Of the three districts that have landfill sites, there is a slight variation in the amount of life remaining in the sites and the projected closure costs for those sites. For example, Loughborough has 15 years of life remaining in its site, with a projected closure cost of $420,000 and a $346,000 sanitation reserve fund in place.

Portland , on the other hand, has a dump site with 40 years of capacity, a projected closure cost of $1.1 million, and $442,000 in a sanitation reserve fund in place.

Residents in each of the four districts pay waste disposal fees as part of their property tax bills. In Loughborough, residents paid $145 per household in 2005, while in Bedford the charge is only $20. Residents in each district can only use their own landfill sites currently.

The proposal from the sustainability committee would change everything. A waste management master plan study is being proposed to look into a unified system, equally funded by all South Frontenac taxpayers, making equal use of all combined assets within the township.

As Public Works Manager Bill Blum explained, “There may be some significant changes to how waste is handled if this goes through. Some Bedford residents live closer to the Loughborough site than any of the Bedford sites, but they can’t use the Loughborough site now. This would change. Perhaps some of the Storrington waste, which we pay to have hauled away, will end up in one of our own sites.”

The proposal to amalgamate all landfill sites provoked much debate at council on Tuesday night,

The Sustainability Committee made several other proposals to council this week.

One of them was to keep a bag tag system in place, whereby each resident receives 100 bag tags each year, but to establish a single colour bag tag for all residents in place of system whereby each district has a different coloured tag.

As well, it was proposed that the Public Works Manager study the possibility of establishing a permanent hazardous waste disposal site in the township. Last year, two hazardous waste days were run, at significant cost to the township.

Finally, it was proposed that the township proceed with a salt/site management study. All road salt in the township is stored under cover, but in handling the salt and mixing it with sand, there is potential and actual run off from the township works’ yards. This study will examine these problems and provide costs for improving the situation.

All of the costs associated with the studies that were proposed by the sustainability committee will be covered using money from federal gas tax funds that have been received by the township, and will not directly affect municipal property taxes.

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