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Townships to see expanded curbside waste services starting next spring

Nearly 1,500 Woolwich Township addresses will be receiving expanded waste management services starting in the spring of 2017.

The move is part of Waterloo Region council’s changes to waste collection, including awarding the pickup work to new contractors. New services will be extended to 4,346 residences in Woolwich, Wellesley and Wilmot townships.

The expanded services include the introduction of the green bin program, biweekly large item pickup and biweekly seasonal yard waste collection. Regional councillor Tom Galloway says the idea behind the changes in the region’s waste management plan is to extend the life of the Erb Street landfill site as much as possible.

“We have 20 years left on this landfill and the program expansion will allow us to keep that 20 years for the foreseeable future, especially with this extra diversion,” he said. “We don’t want to have to go and look for a new landfill site, which would be a very long and expensive process.”

The new plan also gives tax payers more bang for their buck.

“We are trying to provide a consistent level of service for everyone in the region,” said Galloway. “People are paying for the service through their property taxes and we are trying to divert more materials with the green bins and recycling programs.”

The new program starts up in March 2017, and along with expanded waste management pick-ups, there will be a new company driving the streets of Woolwich, collecting garbage, compost and recycling. The region tendered the new contract to Halton Recycling Ltd., also known as Emterra Environmental for an agreed upon period of 84 months with the option to renew the contract for one year. The tender amounted to $4,168,308.04 per year – an amount Galloway says is a big savings for the region.

“At the end of the day, it is a $3 million savings per year over the existing contract,” he said, adding that the company will be coming on when the service changes start in 2017.

The current holder of the contract, Plein Disposal, based in Elmira, didn’t bid this time around, according to Galloway, but an affiliate company, Provincial Waste Systems, put in a bid that was “significantly higher than other bidders,” he shared, adding that the bid was actually the highest of all the companies putting their hat in the ring.

Plein Disposal had been working with the region for decades and will be closing up shop at the end of the contract, but longevity and the future of a company weren’t factors in decision making for the region. It is mostly about dollars and cents.

“It was primarily based on price,” said Galloway. “The actual service itself has been predetermined and then it is put out to tender with very specific terms – once a week for this, every second week for that, once a month for this. Then it is just a matter of price. There are some references required to show that companies have done this before and doing an adequate job in other municipalities.”

Galloway says that he could see employees from Plein Disposal and the company’s affiliate, Provincial Waste Systems, moving to work with the new contract holder when the time comes.

“(The new company) is probably going to be looking for staff, and what better source than the people who have already been doing the job?” he asked, adding that council has no stake in employee movements. “That will be up to the new company, but I think that will naturally occur.”

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