Certain areas of Moose Jaw will have to wait to get curbside garbage collection until 2018.
Some of that city has been put on curbside pick-up already, but on Monday night city council decided to wait for a review before expanding it to the rest of Moose Jaw.
The meeting last week resulted in a full review of the switch to curbside garbage collection in Areas 1 and 2. The idea was that officials would use the results of that review to tweak the program before rolling in out to the rest of the city in the near future.
Mayor Fraser Tolmie said there are obvious concerns with the program but there are benefits as well, then he moved an amendment that would delay any further rollout.
“This means that we will continue as we are, learn of the challenges and then decide the next moves in the new year,” he said.
Councillors Chris Warren and Don Mitchell both argued against the continuation of curbside collection in Areas 1 and 2 while the review was being conducted, saying it does nothing to address the widespread problems that they are hearing about.
City manager Matt Noble challenged the assertions, saying staff are doing everything they can to address concerns that are being communicated to them and over 90 per cent of the first two areas are now complying with the changes.
“We have gone out and measured every person’s (gate) who complained that their gate was too small and there’s not one gate that we were told to go to that was too small,” stated Noble. “It’s always generalizations, give us specifics and we’ll deal with them.”
Counc. Dawn Luhning questioned the motion from last week and the amendment from Mayor Tolmie saying she has heard nothing but good things from people she’s spoken with in Areas 1 and 2.
“I just do not understand why we’re still talking about curbside implementation … we have bigger fish to fry than worrying about whether these bins are pulled front street,” said Luhning. “If everybody believes that it’s so difficult, then just make a motion to get rid of it.”
The entire delay was started in August when Counc. Warren presented a motion that drastically changed the criteria for how an area was determined to be a “problem spot” and therefore pulled from the program.
City engineers outlined areas where curbside garbage collection is a challenge. Some examples included blocks where 20 per cent of homes do not have front street driveways, areas with an excess of on-street parking, narrow streets and streets with no parking lanes.
City administration returned with a report that explained the new criteria would eliminate 65 per cent of the city from taking part in curbside garbage collection. That reduction of homes, combined with the zigzag approach to collection that would have to be used, would eliminate any cost savings that were originally proposed back in the budget.
With this latest motion, Areas 3, 4 and parts of 5 won’t be converted to curbside until council contemplates a report on the rollout in Areas 1 and 2. Considering the budget took until the end of April to receive approval, the second phase of implementation could be delayed until spring 2018.
This new motion has no impact on bi-weekly garbage collection. That change will continue as originally proposed. The city issued a reminder on Monday reminding residents that collection will switch to bi-weekly on Oct. 1 for both garbage and recycling, no matter where you put your bins.