By Stew Slater
According to Town Councillor Stephen McCotter, there has been significant positive feedback from St. Marys residents regarding the recent switch to garbage bins designed for pick-up by automated trucks operated by the Bluewater Recycling Association (BRA).
“I heard from people who didn’t get the right size of bin, called, and got a return call within three hours. There were people who were away and didn’t get a pick-up, called, and received a pick-up within three hours. And these were sometimes people who love to comment on negative things.”
St. Marys had been operating its own garbage pick-up using bags, and BRA maintained that service for a few months following a Council decision to contract out. But over the past three weeks, the automated bins have been rolled out.
McCotter made his comments at a Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Also at the meeting, St. Marys CAO Kevin McLlwain reported the municipal owners of the BRA consortium — including St. Marys — will not be receiving a grant rebate from the Association this year.
The grant was included in regular fees a few years ago to help implement the automated system, and the plan was to pay it back in the form of a
rebate over the years. But according to McLlwain, a drop in the prices paid for some key recycled commodities has caused BRA to re-assess the rebate for this year.
The Town’s share of the rebate would have been $60,000, but McLlwain was quick to point out that BRA consistently advises against including the rebate in municipal budget planning.
McLlwain also reported that milk containers, juice containers and other cartons are acceptable for BRA’s recycling program. But at this point, take-out coffee cups must be placed in the garbage.