Wellesley Township no longer has a waste transfer station, and at a council meeting on Tuesday night, councillors expressed their disappointment and frustration.In an effort to reduce a tax increase from the 2014 budget, Waterloo Region council hoped to save as much as $302,000 by closing rural waste transfer stations in Woolwich, Wellesley, North Dumfries and Wilmot townships. While a waste transfer station will still be available in Elmira two days a week (Thursdays and Saturdays), Wellesley residents will now have to take waste directly to the Waterloo Waste Management Site at 925 Erb St. W. The final calculated savings, close to $128,000, are “peanuts,” according to Coun. Paul Hergott.
Councillors were in agreement that this presents an unreasonable burden to Wellesley residents.
“I think we got shafted,” said Coun. Herb Neher. “You can’t expect horse-and-buggies to go [take] some of that stuff down to Erb Street. They could have compromised by having it in Woolwich one day and our area one day. … And we have just as much farm industry as they have, if not more.”
Neher added, “I think we’re going to force people to get rid of their stuff in a manner we wouldn’t want to see.”
Chief administrative officer Willis McLaughlin expressed concern about roadside dumping, and facilities director Brad Voisin suggested that others may drop garbage in the bins at the rec facilities. Coun. Jim Olender speculated that some may bury their garbage.
“You’re going to see a lot more of that,” said Neher. “It’ll cause so much more environmental damage. I think it was a bad decision.”
“Wilmot wasn’t concerned about it at all, because they’re quite close to the Waterloo landfill,” said Mayor Ross Kelterborn, who also noted that support for the closures came largely from the region’s urban municipalities.
“It’s an example of what we can look forward to if we ever amalgamate,” said Coun. Shelley Wagner.
The region also informed council that Wellesley’s annual hazardous waste collection day is cancelled for the second year in a row.