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Wellington County to pick up yard waste this spring

Solid Waste Services Committee decides to move up fall pick-up due to closing of drop-off facilities
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County of Wellington Administration Centre. Keegan Kozolanka/GuelphToday file photo

COUNTY OF WELLINGTON – The county is pushing up its scheduled leaf and yard waste curbside pickup after making the decision to close waste transfer facilities.

The Solid Wastes Services committee approved an interim measure for curbside leaf and yard waste collection in 56 designated urban areas. 

Last year, the county awarded a curbside collection contract but that would not start until this fall. According to a report to the Solid Waste Services Committee, this contract will provide spring and fall leaf and yard waste collection in future years.

Das Soligo, manager of Solid Waste Services, said in council that residents typically use the closed waste facilities to dispose of yard waste and there is uncertainty when they can re-open. With more people at home than usual, residents have been asking for a solution to this problem.

“We’ve been hearing feedback that individuals have more time to do lawn maintenance and are looking for some type of solution to deal with leaf and yard waste,” Soligo said to the committee.

Soligo explained to the committee that the county staff and equipment will be providing the same level of service that residents can expect in the fall.

Although it is unknown exactly how much waste will be collected and processed, Soligo said staff anticipate an additional cost of $50,000 to $80,000 beyond what was previously budgeted for.

The committee was mostly on board with this plan but Puslinch Mayor James Seeley said felt this decision impacted the budget too greatly to make a hasty decision.

“I am partially disappointed with the fact that I was told the decision was made to implement this waste and litter pick-up without the input of the committee of the whole,” Seeley said to the committee. “I understand that we’re in a state of emergency and that grants certain powers but on this one I feel there was some time.”

Seeley further went on to say that he doesn’t feel waste pickup priorities are in order.

“There is a need throughout the entire county for improved services in our waste division and that’s our rural constituents that have only every other week pickup of their garbage and recycling,” Seeley said, noting that the situation is made more difficult with waste facility closures. “I feel that garbage and recycling for our rural constituents in all Wellington County is more of a priority than sticks and twigs in our urban centres.”

Councillor Steve O’Neill questioned where they would find money for this in the budget. County treasurer Ken DeHart explained it would be a variance and there is nothing to offset it.

“I suspect COVID-19 is going to put the county into a deficit position this year like most municipalities,” DeHart said.

The county will be following this pickup schedule:

  • Week of April 27: Puslinch, Guelph/Eramosa and Erin

  • Week of May 4: Centre Wellington

  • Week of May 11: Mapleton, Minto and Wellington North

This schedule will repeat one time giving residents two pickups this spring. Yard waste must be paper bags at the curb by Monday morning during their pickup week.