Petrolia trashes biweekly garbage pickup

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The savings just aren’t worth the reduction in service.

That was the decision of Petrolia councilors after getting an earful from residents who didn’t want biweekly garbage pickup.

The town’s contract collection expires at the end of the year and town staff has been working with Waste Management on some options which could save anywhere from $30,000 to nearly $69,000 a year. But there are trade-offs should the town take advantage of the deals.

Petrolia would save $68,000 if it moved to biweekly collection, with a maximum of six bags a house.

But the idea of biweekly collection through the year worried some councilors who thought residents would complain of the smell through the summer. CAO Manny Baron says adding weekly pickup from June to the end of September would cut the savings to just over $40,000.

But long before they heard about the reduced savings, councilors say they heard an earful from residents who didn’t want biweekly pickup.

“I was flooded with calls,” says Brown adding most didn’t like the idea. Most of the callers felt the reduced service was “not worth the savings,” added Brown. “I’ve never seen people more upset.”

Councilor Mary Pat Gleeson says practically every person she talked to voiced their concern. “Most understood we want the savings and many said ‘for me it wouldn’t be a problem’ but many were worried about the young family down the street.’”

“Other people wondered what would happen if they missed on pickup day,” agreed Councilor Joel Field “then it’s a month before the garbage is collected.”

Brown added there was also a concern about “rodent infestation” because of the added garbage.

The councilors say the only way to reduce garbage cost is to recycle more. Gleeson would like to see the town work with Waste Management to come up with a recycling education plan.

Baron will come back to council with a plan, including a recycling education program, at its next meeting.