TBM councillor suggests carts on wheels for garbage collection

The Blue Mountains councillor Gail Ardiel has suggested the town consider moving to a wheeled cart system for garbage and recycling collection.

Twice at recent meetings, Ardiel has raised the possibility of the town, at some point in the future, switching from the traditional garbage bag/blue box/green bin collection system to a system that uses larger carts on wheels.

The County of Simcoe made the switch to the wheeled carts in November, 2021, and in January 2023 the Municipality of Grey Highlands also made the switch. The Township of Southgate has had the bin/cart system for two decades.

“Another way of bringing the costs down is the carts,” Ardiel said at council’s committee of the whole budget meeting on Feb. 3 when the waste collection budget was in front of council.

Ardiel noted that Simcoe and Grey Highlands had made the move.

“There are cost savings. Different municipalities are looking at this type of stuff,” she said.

The Blue Mountains is facing the prospect of re-tendering for garbage collection services in 2023. Manager of Solid Waste and Environmental Initiatives Jeffery Fletcher said there are changes coming to recycling collection across the province. The provincial government is moving the cost of the blue box program to producers and away from municipalities. Fletcher suggested a decision on the town’s future collection system might be best left until the provincial direction is more defined.

Fletcher also estimated that in a town the size of The Blue Mountains it would cost more than $1 million to provide every residential home with the large collection carts.

“It does come with advantages and it comes with challenges,” Fletcher said of the cart/bin system.

Deputy Mayor Peter Bordignon was skeptical of the effectiveness of the carts. He suggested there are potential problems around wild animals getting into the bins and claimed the larger carts are "not good for diversion."

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca