Township of KHR outlines new fees and handling rules
KILLALOE – The waste management plan unanimously supported by Killaloe-Hagarty-Richards Township council is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of several business owners.
At the January 24 waste management committee meeting, Chair Ernie Cybulski and Mayor Janice Visneskie met with concerned business owners about the municipal solid waste management strategic plan.
According to Mayor Visneskie, there is only three years left of room at the Killaloe landfill site. Therefore, the township is looking for a long-term solution. The plan has been in the making since 2009. Multiple surveys and public consultations were done to gage public input into how the township should handle its solid waste.
Ratepayers identified three priorities. They wanted the township to handle their waste economically, that it is not in ‘their backyard,’ and that it is dealt with in an environmentally friendly way.
After investigating several options, council came to the conclusion that the township will be exporting its solid waste to the Lafleche Environmental facility in Moose Creek, Ontario.
“This is the most environmentally friendly solution that we could find at the present time,” Cybulski said.
New infrastructure is required at the waste sites, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of upgrades. Garbage will have to be transported to, and compacted at, the Killaloe site before being shipped to Lafleche.
“We no longer have the hole to put it in, so we are now shipping it out,” Visneskie said.
The Ministry of Environment requires the township to replace the garbage chute and the compactor truck with a stationary compactor unit that will require the bagged waste be placed one bag at a time.
The staging area will be built large enough to have three compactor units over the next five-year period.
“This will enable us to transport two, 15-yard bins of domestic waste to Lefleche in Moose Creek in one trip,” Cybulski said.
As a result, the township has decided to shut down the Red Rock site, due to the high costs and low usage by residents. Red Rock will only be used for construction and demolition waste, and all of the hours will be transferred to the Round Lake site.
While many members of the public have accepted this fate, at a 2011 public consultation, some residents said they would like to see more equality between the fee for residential solid waste and commercial waste.
As it stands now, residents pay a one dollar bag tag per bag of garbage. Businesses in KHR were given a break in the past by the township, and are required to pay only $7 per cubic meter (or 12 bags.)
At the public meeting on Jan. 24, Cybulski said those fees will be increased right across the board.
“The proposed fee of $2 a bag, or a 26 by 36 inch bag, will be applied to every bag of domestic waste brought in for disposal,” Cybulski said, adding that businesses will be required to pay that fee as well. “We are hoping that this increase will encourage people to recycle more.”
A percentage of the fee will go towards the infrastructure improvements made at the Round Lake and Killaloe sites. The required infrastructure will also be funded through residents’ tax bills, but council has not yet agreed if will be based on assessment or other factors.
The changes in fees are expected to come sometime within six to eight months – whenever the Ministry of Environment accepts the export proposal by the township.
Those that attended the business consultation on Tuesday included Danny Harrington, owner of Ace Hardware; Andrew Sadecki, owner of Covered Bridge Park; and Jennifer and Steven Dashnay, owners of Freshmart and A.J.’s convenience store, along with two members of the public.
Sadecki said he has specific concerns relating to handling the garbage his customers produce. At his property, he has a trailer where residents store their garbage. When it gets full, he takes it to the dump to be landfilled.
When the new rules come out in September, however, he will be forced to sort through the garbage, and dump it in the compactor one bag at a time. In fact, everyone will be required to put their own garbage into the compactors, without the help of an attendant.
“I don’t know what people put into the bags,” he said, citing concern for his safety. “I have no control over what goes into the bag… I don’t know if anyone thought about it, but we actually have to physically grab somebody’s garbage, that has been sitting there for a couple of weeks, and I consider this a health hazard.”
But Mayor Visneskie said its time for a change.
“You are going to have to do business differently, just like everyone else,” she explained. “We told our taxpayers that we want you to recycle more, so the less we ship, the less it costs… Things are going to be different, that’s just the way it’s going to be,” Visneskie added “We can chat about it, but at the end of the day, there is going to be a new system at the site, and you are going to have to be able to bring your waste and recyclables to accommodate that.”
Sadecki said he felt that discussion was not really a consultation at all. He also said he felt his business was “left behind,” and that the decisions were made “behind his back.”
But Mayor Visneskie said there were numerous consultations and surveys distributed throughout the two years of the township exploring its options.
“Every newspaper has published everything that we have done,” Visneskie said. “Ernie and I have been doing this for two years. We have done everything. We have gone out to the public; we have public that sat in on our meetings so they can get the message out. The Ministry of Environment couldn’t believe how much we have gone out trying to get the message out there.”
She also said those local businesses should have attended the past public consultations to voice their side when residents insisted that businesses pay more for their garbage.
Cybulski said while residents and businesses alike will have to handle their solid waste one bag at a time, it is the only economically viable way.
“If we can find ways to better enhance and improve the movement of garbage and the handling of garbage at the sites, we are all ears,” Cybulski said.
This story continues in the February 2, 2012 issue of The Valley Gazette.