Multi-residential units in the Sault will be losing GFL trash collection at the end of 2020, City Council decided during Monday evening’s meeting.
This means, starting in 2021, property owners of multi-family residential properties with five or more units will be expected to make their own waste collecting arrangements after the the existing contract with GFL expires on Dec. 31, 2020. Each property owner currently owns or rents their waste bins, but the disposal and collection fee will be theirs to figure out.
City Director of Public Works, Susan Hamilton Beach, said this decision will affect 250 properties throughout the city, but will save taxpayers $130,000 a year. She also noted that no other large northern municipality (North Bay, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timmins) provides a similar contracted or City service, as Ontario regulations from 1994 don’t require municipalities to do so.
This resolution was met with some concern from councillors, such as Coun. Bruni, who expressed his concerns that landlords and property managers weren’t consulted about this matter, saying he’s received calls and emails complaining that these people will be paying taxes and not receiving a service.
Hamilton Beach said this is being brought to attention over a year in advance, and doesn’t need consultation as it’s a financial decision, not a change in design planning.
Coun. Vezeau-Allen said she’s also received calls, but from apartment renters concerned about overflowing bins and regular waste pickups, to which Hamilton Beach replied could become a property standards act if property owners aren’t ensuring regular pickups.
Coun. Shoemaker showed his support for the resolution, saying he thinks it’s a “very responsible report brought forward with lots of notice time so that people can make the proper adjustments.”
“It’s going to cause a bit of pain, but there’s always a bit of pain when we have changes in these types of services,” he said.
Mayor Provenzano echoed Shoemaker’s comments, praising City Staff for for finding efficiencies to bring the levey down.
“It’s going to hurt, and people (that own these buildings) are going to be a little bit annoyed,” he said, “but in the broader scheme of things, it seems like it’s the right thing to do, and come budget time, if we find $130,00, that’s helpful.”
Despite the concerns, council passed the motion with a vote of 7-3, with Couns. Bruni, Holingsworth and Scott in opposition. Coun. Luke Dufour wasn’t present during the meeting.