Sackville set to save on garbage collection

Town Engineer Dwayne Acton

According to the town engineer, Sackville could save more than $20,000 on garbage collection next year.

Dwayne Acton told council last Monday that a bid from Miller Waste Systems came in at $246,161.18 for 2019 garbage collection, $23,619 lower than the 2018 cost of $272,207.00.

Acton said he will be asking council to approve a new five-year contract with Miller Waste at its regular meeting this Tuesday. He said that the town would have the option to renew the contract for an extra two years. The current Miller Waste contract expires on December 31st.

The only other bidder was Fero Waste and Recycling Inc., but Acton said that bid was rejected because of errors in the tender submission.

When Councillor Michael Tower asked about the errors, CAO Phil Handrahan said he would rather not discuss the specifics of the bid until the town has had a chance to review the matter with its lawyers. He promised to let council know of any new information that comes out of the review.

Lower residential costs

Meantime, Acton said Miller Waste’s lower bid for next year resulted from a reduction in the cost of residential pickup, not from elimination of the special summer collection for larger items. If council approves the new contract on Tuesday, Miller Waste will continue special collections in spring and fall as well as one for Christmas trees.

Acton said costs are based on a levy per unit. For example, the annual cost of residential pickup under the Miller Waste contract would be $87.29 per unit.

Apartment waste

Once again, Acton made it clear that the new contract would not include the collection of garbage from apartment buildings with more than four units.

He said that as far as he knows, no other municipality collects garbage from larger apartment buildings.

Garbage bin behind Sackville apartment building

He said apartment building collection would cost the town an extra fifty to sixty thousand dollars and that it would be difficult to integrate landlords, tenants and haulers into the three-stream waste system.

At present, landlords who use one bin for unsorted garbage, pay extra to dispose of the waste. The Southeast Regional Service Commission charges a tipping fee of $75 per tonne for sorted waste and $85 per tonne for unsorted garbage — a fee that is expected to increase year by year to encourage landlords to adopt the three-stream system.

Councillor Bill Evans said that while he is willing to vote for awarding the garbage contract without including apartment buildings, the system isn’t fair.

“The people who have been paying the property taxes on these apartment buildings have been paying and not getting the service,” Evans said. “[But] if we’re the only community doing it, it’s going to be too much of a challenge.”

Evans added that the Southeast Regional Service Commission has “got to crank up the tipping fees” on unsorted garbage to force landlords to adopt three-stream sorting.

Councillor Bruce Phinney said imposing new rules on apartment buildings would only hurt tenants.

“People who live in apartment buildings are living there because they can’t afford their own homes, they’re on a limited income,” Phinney added. “It is a problem that we’ve had around for as long as I’ve been on council, that’s been almost 15 years.”

Phinney said that’s why he would never vote in favour of forcing apartment building landlords to sort garbage.

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6 Responses to Sackville set to save on garbage collection

  1. Louis says:

    Why don’t I use the occasion to speak up about the provincial property tax that applies disparately to rental housing in NB.

    I don’t think that anyone on here will mistake me for a bleeding-heart leftist, so perhaps if I speak up and say that this is among the most REGRESSIVE and flat-out UNFAIR taxes I’ve ever seen anywhere, it’ll get some attention.

    This tax raises the cost of rentals disproportionately. Those in rental housing are often the poorest. To have EXTRA tax on their housing is just VILE. On top of that, servicing apartments probably costs LESS, for reasons such as can be seen above with garbage collection (as well as increased density – the road only needs to be plowed once, regardless of traffic).

    I’d love to know where all the “activist” types are on this one. Funnily enough, it’s the landlords that are pushing for it’s elimination, and I think it would be fairly neutral for them: considering that they all have to pay it, eliminating it would lower their expenses, sure, but it would also lead to downward pressure on rents, and probably be more-or-less a wash. At best (from a landlord perspective) it might make ownership slightly less appealing, slightly increasing the demand for rentals. It’s really the tenants who should be incensed, because in the end, they’re the ones paying it.

    (For the record, I have no strong opinions on such a “double tax” applying or not to cottages, etc. My strong opinion is specifically tied to rental housing.)

  2. Rima Azar says:

    I agree with Councillor Bruce Phinney who always has the best interests of lower-income-citizens in mind.

    Perhaps tenants who are highly eco-oriented can purchase a personal recycling bin and keep it in their apartment. They can drive their waste to either a municipal recycling bin? Or they can partner with another eco-minded neighbour who owns a house to invest in a jointly-paid garbage bin? Or maybe co-drive with someone else (saving gas— an another environmentally-friendly gesture) to dispose their recycled garbage in a nearby drop-off facility in Moncton or in Amherst (assuming this facility exists elsewhere)?

    Another funnier solution may be to recycle the Lebanese style– as I saw last Christmas at a mall in Beirut, which proudly had superb recycling containers with three separate holes for each type of garbage. I was impressed up until my sister attracted my attention to the bottom of the three-hole-recycling-container that had just ONE single bottom in reality. At least, it makes people feel psychologically better when they throw their garbage whilst shopping—thinking they are saving the planet 😊.

  3. Jim Throop says:

    I don’t believe town council has any control over the double tax on landlord but if the town sent a letter to the province in support of dropping double tax would not hurt. We will have to see if Priemier Higgs keeps his promise. Dropping the double tax would help landlords bring a higher standards to their properties giving tenants reductions in rent, improve properties with new windows, siding, paved driveways and the list goes on of what could be. It’s not hard to see the economic benefits for all.

    • Rima Azar says:

      Good idea this letter from our town council to the government. Thank you Jim Throop.
      Dropping this double tax will help so many families living in poverty across our province, not just in Sackville (i.e., Saint John has a sad national record, one of the highest child poverty rates in Canada)!

  4. Jim Throop says:

    As far as garbage collection goes how hard would it be for the town to buy our own garbage truck give work to local people rather than the big national companies. We do not need a brand new truck for that operation. I can still remember not that long ago the town work crew would use the wheel loaders and dump trucks for spring and fall clean ups, we already have that equipment why not put it to work?

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