County to implement new solid waste services

Raissa Tetanish
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UPPER NAPPAN - Green carts are coming to the county.

Cumberland County council unanimously passed two motions Wednesday afternoon that will see some changes beginning next year in the way residents in the 10 districts dispose of household waste.

Along with separating residual waste and recyclables, residents will now have pick-up of compostable materials every second week.

The changes take affect April 1, 2012.

"We have had the distribution of compost buckets and they aren't being as widely used as we had hoped, especially in urban-type areas," said Warden Keith Hunter following the council meeting. "This is going to give them green carts - the same as in the towns. It's going to help them and it's going to help us in our diversion rates because 50 per cent of our garbage now is either compostable or recyclable."

By 2015, municipalities throughout the province are to try and reach a figure of 300kg/person/year in waste disposed. While the current target is 500kg, Cumberland County's figures, according to a release issued by the county, are in the vicinity of 530kg.

"Looking across the province, our diversion numbers are nowhere near what they could or should be and we need to improve, in fact we are mandated to improve," said Hunter.

The warden said clear bags will still be used for separating waste and recyclables.

Along with green carts, council passed a motion in regards to construction and demolition (C&D) materials, which Hunter said is an expensive part of the county's solid waste management.

Peter Cottingham, solid waste administrator, said the county currently has eight transfer stations but will be moving down to three.

"We tried to determine as much as possible a good geographical spread, as well as usage," he said in the decision to continue with transfer stations in River Hebert, Advocate and Pugwash.

"They are among the higher end as far as usage goes...tonnages received. They are currently our biggest sites so they are easiest to modify to meet these changes to the system."

Hunter said the change will still provide service to the county's residents, putting it on a user-pay basis.

"It will stop us from having to raise taxes in order to collect C&D," he said. "The cost will be borne by the users of the service."

Also included in the motions were allowing the placement of one "bulky" garbage items such as furniture at curb-side on each regular garbage week; residual garbage and green cart organics will be picked up on the same week; and the annual county-wide bulky item pick-up will continue for scrap metal, white goods and limited amounts of C&D.

Fees for the transfer stations have yet to be determined, as have hours of operation.

rtetanish@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Cumberland County council

Geographic location: Cumberland County, River Hebert, Pugwash

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