PICTOU – A garbage pickup for larger items could be in the works for county residents.
Coun. Leonard Fraser asked council during a property services meeting Monday if any more has been done by county staff about his request for information regarding garbage collection for larger, bulkier items.
CAO Brian Cullen replied that some research has been done and it would probably end up costing the municipality about $300,000 a year if larger items were picked up on a regular basis from county residents.
However, he said the cost would be considerably less if a collection site was established in different areas of the county in the spring and residents could bring their larger items to one spot for disposal.
“An outreach program might be a better solution,” he said. “The county would identify five or six locations and Pictou County Solid Waste could move trailers into fire halls and make the drop-off more accessible for people. There is potential there for pilot project.”
He said such an outreach project would not only make it easier for residents to get rid of the bigger items that aren’t normally collected on the curb, but it would also allow PCSW to do some community education work.
“The cost of doing it this way would be a lot less than $300,000,” he said.
Coun. Chester Dewar suggested that PCSW and the county better market its voucher system that gives people two free passes for the landfill site. He said it is a program already in place that is seeing some success.
Coun. Robert Parker agreed the coupon program is a valuable tool, but he thinks this extra garbage pickup could complement it rather than hurt it.
“This is a service the people are asking for and it is up to us to decide if we can provide this service in an economical manner,” he said. “A lot of people don’t have the availability to get some materials to landfills to take advantage of the vouchers but they may be able to get someone to haul their stuff down road.”
Parker asked county staff to look into the pilot program further and return to council with some cost figures.
“People are asking for this service, so can we provide it at an acceptable price?” he asked.
Coun. Randy Palmer said he would be voting in favour of the project, but he said it will do little to stop people from illegal dumping.
“This is not going to stop backwoods dumping because some people don’t want to pay the tipping fees,” he said. “All this is going to do is clean up people’s yards. This is not going to clean up any dumpsites, but as long as it is not going to touch the voucher program, I am in favour of it.”
In regard to illegal dumping, Fraser said more education is needed to keep people from throwing their trash from their vehicles into county ditches and streams.
“We need to keep educating the community,” he said. “More people need to keep an eye out. It’s like neighbourhood watch. If I see someone with lots of garbage in my area, and if I have time, I am going to follow them.”
He said signs about the fines for illegal dumping need to be posted at sites across the county in hopes of deterring people.
“If the signs are posted and people are more aware, they might take down a licence plate number and report it.”