Saugeen Shores budget talks lead to waste management review

( file photo)

The mayor of Saugeen Shores wants to make some changes to how the municipality handles waste management.

Luke Charbonneau presented his proposal during Tuesday’s operating budget talks, suggesting an additional day of operation at the municipal landfill each week during the winter.

He said the landfill is currently open three days per week [Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays] during winter months and he’d like to see the landfill opened on Mondays to keep up with demand currently being created by the building boom in Saugeen Shores.

He points out times have changed since the decision was made to cut back on landfill hours during the winter.

“Those were decisions that were made at a quieter time when there was less development going on, but as everybody knows, the community is growing quickly,” said Charbonneau. “We need to, I think, re-open on Mondays in the winter time at the landfill site, I think it’s a very low-cost thing to do.”

Charbonneau also suggested reviewing garbage collection, specifically the bag-tag system, which requires a tag on every bag of garbage placed at the curb, at a cost of $2 each.

He said the full bag tag system has been in place for about a decade and has produced some negative spin-offs, including illegal dumping of garbage in private dumpsters and on side-roads in the rural areas of the municipality.

Charbonneau said going back to one free bag per week, with increased costs for tags for each additional bag of garbage is something he would like to look at.

“I think it could work financially, and by doing [one free bag], you would at the same time disincentivize the throwing out of garbage in unlawful places, and make it easier, week-to-week, for people,” said Charbonneau.

Municipal staff will be reviewing the suggestions and Charbonneau is hopeful council can debate his proposals in time to include them in the 2019 budget.