Central Manitoulin votes to launch garbage haulage pilot project pending MOE approval

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CENTRAL MANITOULIN—A pilot project aimed at alleviating pressure on the Central Manitoulin landfill site received tentative approval during a May 10 meeting of council. The motion recommending that the garbage haulage pilot project start in July pending discussions with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment was moved by Councillor Derek Stephens and seconded by Councillor Patricia MacDonald.

“This is something that we have talked about for several years,” said Councillor Stephens. “We have actually put money aside for a number of years for the pilot, not this council, but previous councils. I think this is something we have to do.” Councillor Stephens noted that the current landfill site is rapidly filling up, but referenced that the rate has varied according to which study is referenced.

“What is the cost per year of hauling the material to the Dodge landfill operation?” asked Councillor Dale Scott.

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“About $100,000,” responded Councillor MacDonald.

“But if we go with every second week it will whittle down to around $50,000,” offered Councillor Stephens. “We do have the money in reserves for this. We need to see how the MOE (Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change) feels about it.”

Councillor Ted Taylor said that he was surprised to learn that the haulage of waste to an outside landfill could extend the life of the town’s current landfill by between 10 and 20 years.

“One of the things I was surprised to learn was that as much as 50 percent of the garbage going into our landfill was commercial, not residential,” said Councillor Stephens. “I would have thought that most of the garbage would have been residential.”

Councillor Scott noted that household garbage is a concern for many municipalities and suggested that the town might want to consider a ticketing system wherein residents purchase tags for the disposal of their garbage.

“Tickets go by weight,” he said, “so households are more careful, being as they have to pay for it. It works in a lot of communities that are using the system. It would probably reduce a lot of garbage.”

Councillor Alex Baran, who was chairing the council meeting in his capacity as deputy mayor, suggested that some form of composting and programs to redirect recycling away from the landfill might be explored as well.

“This may extend the life of the landfill while the municipality explores other avenues to deal with the issue,” said Councillor Baran.