Proposal made for four-day waste collection in Colchester County

Harry Sullivan
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Monday pickups would be eliminated

TRURO – Colchester County residents could soon see their recyclables and garbage/compost collections occurring on the same day if a proposal by Miller Waste Systems is approved by council.

Colchester County Council

The move would also see the end of Monday waste collections.

“Garbage, I know people set their clock by it and if we pick it up a thousand times right, they don’t notice,” Jeff Traver, the company’s district manager for the Eastern Region, told county council during a presentation Thursday night. “But if that one time we screw it up, man they’re on the phone to you guys.”

Currently, recyclables are collected on one week in a given area while garbage/compost pickups are done the following week.

Under the proposed system, however, all pickups at an individual residence would occur on the same day, with the recyclable truck making the first pass and the garbage collections coming after.

Traver said the proposed system would make it easier for all residents to follow while also improving the system for his company.

“It’s either garbage week or its not garbage week. If I’ve got a bunch of stuff in my garage, chances are it’s garbage week.”

One of the reasons for the proposed change is to eliminate issues that arise on weeks in which a holiday occurs, which in most cases is a Monday.

“Holidays can be challenging for us,” Traver said. “We have to run on Saturday, residents aren’t used to it and so they miss the garbage collection. This is particularly troublesome at Christmas so we find it is better to go Tuesday to Friday.”

Another upside to the change, is that it would enable the company to remove one truck from its fleet, which could reduce the company’s carbon foot print by approximately 204,000 lbs. of carbon emissions per year.

From a financial perspective, Traver said the move would save the company approximately $100,000 per year, which in turn would reduce the municipality’s costs by about $35,000 per year, or $175,000 over the current five-year contract.

The four-day system has already been put in place in East Hants and Cumberland counties, he said, and the response to date has been “excellent” from those areas.

Another advantage to the system, he said, is that with six collection trucks working in a given area on the same day, if someone’s pickup is missed, it would be a simple task to back track to get it.

“The beauty is when people do put out late collections,” he said, “it’s easier for us to go back.”

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Recent comments

  • ann
    April 07, 2013 - 07:52

    I don't know how much savings there will actually be for the taxpayer, or if we can say for sure that one less truck means that someone will be out a job. But I'm very happy that they will not collect on Mondays. That's when my garbage/recycling is collected and whenever there is a holiday I have to remember to put it out on the following Saturday. Not that difficult, but if you forget, your stuff sits around that much longer. I know people in East Hants who have their garbage/recycling collected on the same day and they are pleased with it.

  • stevieray
    February 22, 2013 - 08:05

    Joe ..Joe.Joe ...what kind of question is that to ask ,,when have you ever and I mean ever seen the county save the taxpayer money !... It funny I was driving by the Colchester Legion Stadium last nite and was mentioning to my wife what would become of this rink ....she said maybe the county needs to take the same approach to the old Stadium as it did with the Scotia Pool and Community College Pool ....maybe she's right !!

  • marilyn
    February 17, 2013 - 08:08

    great idea but not at the cost of someone losing their job..just goes to show why people from from this area have to go away to work,,your not making jobs,your taking them away...think about!!!!!

  • Pat
    February 15, 2013 - 16:46

    So it will allowe on less truck on the run. That means one or two people loss their jobs,and the rest will have there hours cut by ten to twelve hours per week. Sounds like this company (millers) is trying to save more than emissions. Plus now we get to have not only one or two trucks in area but upto six at once and if we put our garbage out late it will get picked up easier cool. Well atleast it will cut back on the trucks being overweight on a daily basses when they head out to unload did I say that oops stands to reason more trucks,less weight,less time,less wages,and we can get that extra 20minutes sleep cool count me in.

  • Pat
    February 15, 2013 - 16:43

    So it will allowe on less truck on the run. That means one or two people loss their jobs,and the rest will have there hours cut by ten to twelve hours per week. Sounds like this company (millers) is trying to save more than emissions. Plus now we get to have not only one or two trucks in area but upto six at once and if we put our garbage out late it will get picked up easier cool. Well atleast it will cut back on the trucks being overweight on a daily basses when they head out to unload did I say that oops stands to reason more trucks,less weight,less time,less wages,and we can get that extra 20minutes sleep cool count me in.

  • Pat
    February 15, 2013 - 16:42

    So it will allowe on less truck on the run. That means one or two people loss their jobs,and the rest will have there hours cut by ten to twelve hours per week. Sounds like this company (millers) is trying to save more than emissions. Plus now we get to have not only one or two trucks in area but upto six at once and if we put our garbage out late it will get picked up easier cool. Well atleast it will cut back on the trucks being overweight on a daily basses when they head out to unload did I say that oops stands to reason more trucks,less weight,less time,less wages,and we can get that extra 20minutes sleep cool count me in.

  • Schmuck
    February 15, 2013 - 15:18

    Why would $100,000 in savings for this company only result in a $35,000 reduction in costs to the County? They're greedy and want to pocket the difference, all while getting to fire a worker or two (who probably lives, shops, pays taxes here in the community) Disgusting.

  • Lisa
    February 15, 2013 - 14:45

    Am I correct in assuming that pick ups will take place every other week? I support the change.

  • PJ
    February 15, 2013 - 12:43

    Happy - I agree especially with the cost and environmental impact but I would have to assume that pickups would occur every other week as they do now, just on matching days. Joe - Based on the annual savings and the population of Colchester, actual savings would be less than $1 per year per residence. These are good questions that were not answered in the article.

  • happy
    February 15, 2013 - 06:56

    I think this would be a great way to go. Saves money and makes more sense. With the current system, I always have a bag or more of something in my garage at any one time. I would love to see it all go at once and have no garbage laying around waiting for the next week. There are too many reasons to list on how much better this would be.

    • Charles
      February 15, 2013 - 18:06

      Better list those reasons I'm not sold Regardless of how often they come you will always have garbage lying around just in a different cycle. And how does it save me money?

  • joe
    February 15, 2013 - 05:50

    How much do we save as a taxpayer ?