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Report: Guelph's blue cart recycling program losing $2.5 million a year

City review says its only one of six waste resource areas under performing
recycling 2 shutterstock

An interim report on a review of the City of Guelph’s waste services says the city’s blue cart program is costing the city $2.5 million a year more than it recovers from recyclables.

That recycling program is the only one of six areas in the city’s waste service department that is under performing compared to comparable municipalities, says a report that will be delivered and discussed at a special meeting of Guelph City Council Sept. 18.

The total budget for the city’s Materials Recovery Facility is $4.9 million, with revenues from recyclables bringing in $2.4 million.

“Data indicates that the cost to process recyclable material at the Material Recovery Facility (recycling) is significantly higher than most of the comparator municipalities,” says the report.

“As a result, the City may consider changes to the existing operation or other options for processing recyclables in the future,” the city report said.

It costs the city $93 per tonne to process its sorted containers through a contract with Simcoe County. That contract will be one of the things looked at as the city moves forward, the report said.

The initial findings are part of the Solid Waste Resources Business Service Review that is currently being conducted. Full findings of that review, and possible options to address the recycling issue, are to be presented to council on Nov. 20.

The report says that the other five areas of solid waste resources are all “in line” and “cost competitive” with comparable municipalities.

Curbside collection, organics, public drop off, household hazardous waste and garbage management are all operating well, says the report.

“Initial findings show curbside collection performs very well, even exceeding most of the participating comparators who provide collection by fully or partially contracting out the service,” said the city in a news release.

Members of the public can speak at the special meeting by signing up on the delegate list by contacting the City Clerk’s Office at 519-837-5603 or email [email protected] no later than Sept. 15 at 10 a.m.

Written comments must also be submitted no later than Sept. 15.


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Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 30 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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