What stinks? Recycling piling up on west-end curbs after Waste Management fails to pick it up
Residents on Dundee Avenue, in Ottawa's west-end, frustrated over Waste Management's recycling pick-up delays.
What stinks? Well, it may be your neighbourhood. Residents across Ottawa’s west-end are complaining that delays in recycling and green bin pick-ups are leaving their neighbourhood a little “trashy”.
“I mean they want us recycling, we’re recycling,” says Queensway Terrace North resident Allan Connolly,
“You guys got to do your part too.”
Connolly is one of thousands of residents frustrated with Waste Management and the city of Ottawa over the delay in recycling pick-up. On his street of Pinewood Crescent, recycling and green bins are scheduled to be picked up on the Thursdays, last week though the scheduled pick-up was Friday because of the long weekend, but that never happened. Recycling bins have been lining the neighbourhood streets since then, waiting for a truck that hasn’t come.
“I guess whenever they get their act together we’ll have it all picked up,” adds Connolly.
Connolly isn’t the only frustrated resident. There have been reported delays in Kanata, Stittsville and Bay Ward for months.
Calling pickup “inconsistent”, long-time Dundee Avenue resident Ian MacNeil says he’s never seen delays this bad.
“We’ve had occasional challenges since the spring but this is the worst we’ve had so far,” says MacNeil.
Residents aren’t the only ones frustrated, so too are politicians.
“This is a core service,” says Kanata South Councillor Allan Hubley, “that should be the most important thing for us to deliver to people.”
Waste Management has had the contract to pick-up pockets of Ottawa’s garbage and recycling for over a decade, but that contract runs out in June of 2020. The city has already awarded a new contract, and Waste Management failed to win the bid, instead competitor Miller Waste Systems will take it over. Some are speculating that Waste Management may have “sour grapes” over the contract loss, and are now throwing fewer resources into services.
“I don’t want to speculate,” says Hubley, but he is demanding answers,
“At first they (Waste Management) would tell us ‘we couldn’t repair this truck because we didn’t have mechanics’ and then it became ‘driver are missing’, you know it went from one to another.”
“I need to know what the transition plan is because we are not going through this kind of service from now until the end of June.”
Sources say Waste Management has also faced serious staffing issues. They just can’t get and keep enough truck operators.
No matter what the excuse, Bay Ward Councillor Theresa Kavanagh, says Waste Management has an obligation to fulfill the contract,
“We have to hold their feet to the fire. They have a contract with us currently; they need to do their job.”
Marilyn Journeau, Director of Solid Waste Service with the city of Ottawa issued this statement Tuesday,
“The City is aware that there are issues with waste pick-up in Bay Ward. Staff are working with Waste Management to address the service issues. Staff are also working with alternate service providers (including the City’s In-House Collections Group), to minimize any service disruptions to residents. Both Miller Waste Systems and the City’s in-house group are working to support efforts in the area and are looking at all possible options to improve service levels.”
The trash talk will go straight to the city’s council meeting on Wednesday. Hubley says he’ll be putting the issue to staff, demanding they push Waste Management for some answers.
“I will be asking legal services what can be done to make sure that they (Waste Management) live up to this contract.”
CTV reached out to Waste Management several times on Tuesday, they are yet to respond.