Column: Bi-Weekly Garbage Pickup Approved for November 2012

Last week, City Council approved the recommendation to move to bi-weekly garbage pickup city-wide on a vote of 18-4.  I have spoken to many individuals who were either supportive or against the proposal.  A motion was put forward at Council that pushed the implementation date to November 2012, meaning that bi-weekly garbage pickup/weekly green bin pickup year round will not begin for another year and a half.  Under this approved plan, all residents in the rural area will now receive green bin service on a weekly basis.  These green bins will be picked up by the same truck that picks up your recyclables as we also approved co-collection of these materials.  This reduces trucks on the road and saves money, our roads, and our environment.  Both Orgaworld and our recycling centre are located in the same place so co-collection just makes sense.

I heard the many concerns and I am not ignoring them.  I continue to respond to comments and concerns and will spend the next year and a half trying to address those concerns so that the impact of this service alteration will be minimal.  Many residents already use the green bin or compost and have already adjusted to less garbage and thus, put their garbage out on a bi-weekly basis currently.  To those of you that are worried about this change and its impact on your household, please do not hesitate to contact me so that we can work together to look for possible solutions.

On the campaign, I continuously heard that our services were getting too expensive, there were too many garbage trucks, and that we should be looking into incineration.  After years of adding waste diversion methods, this contract renewal allows us to alter collection and save you money.  You will see a lined reduction on your future tax assessment through a lowered garbage collection rate.  As previously mentioned, you will see fewer trucks in front of your home on a weekly basis.  As for incineration, we must still reach 60% in our diversion rate before going down that road and this will help us get there.  In the coming months, Environment Committee will be looking at our long term plan for managing solid waste collection in the City of Ottawa.

Cleaning up the Capital

The Spring version of Cleaning up the Capital launched April 11 and I’m pleased to see the amount of participation in Rideau-Goulbourn.  There are over 650 projects and nearly 50,000 participants city-wide.  In Rideau-Goulbourn, there are 11 different groups intent on cleaning up Kars, Munster, Fallowfield Village, and various rural locations throughout the ward.  In Manotick, Kiwanis has always been involved with spring and fall cleanups and we are lucky to have such committed volunteers in our communities helping to keep them clean.  For more information on Cleaning up the Capital, visit ottawa.ca.  You can still sign up until May 15, so get your team together and let’s help clean up Rideau-Goulbourn!  So far, the team with the best name is, hands down, the Fernbank Ditch Witches!  On a related issue, I’d like to ask all residents to report dumping on dead ends and in ditches.  If you see this, please contact my office.  It is my intention to put a strong focus on keeping our streets and ditches clean and I need your help.  Thank you.

Carp Landfill

Waste Management has been holding open houses and workshops in recent weeks and months as a part of their ongoing application to expand their landfill north of Stittsville.   Another workshop is scheduled for April 28th, from 7-9pm at the Kanata Recreation Complex.

The Goulbourn Jubilee Singers Spring Concert

The Goulbourn Jubilee Singers and Junior Jubilees will perform their Spring Concert “Songs from Childhood” on Saturday May 7, 2011, 7:30pm at the Glen Cairn United Church, directed by Linda Crawford and accompanied by Doll Creelman. Special Guests are “The Cumberland Community Singers”. Come out to hear favourites that you sang as a child and sang with your children. Tickets are $15/adults, $10/seniors and students, $35/families. For further information call 613-838-6078, or visit www.gjsingers.com.

E-mail Newsletter

There were several nuances associated with my transition into office.  One of the little known elements was the fact that all things belonging to the former Councillor had to be destroyed and nothing could be transferred due to privacy.  I mention this because many have asked about the newsletter that was sent by former Councillor Brooks.  Over his years in office, Mr. Brooks compiled a lengthy list of emails that allowed him to communicate with the residents.  City policy states that this cannot be transferred, and therefore I am left with a much smaller email base.  If you wish to receive monthly updates via email, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca and submit your email address in the top right corner under "E-News Signup".  You may also email our office at rideaugoulbourn@ottawa.ca or by phone at 613-580-2491.  Thank you so much and I look forward to keeping you informed as many ways as possible.