PBS wins county curbside collection tender

Andrew Wagstaff
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Some councillors still dissenting over new system

UPPER NAPPAN - Curbside solid waste collection will go countywide on April 1, 2012, and it will be PBS Waste Services doing the collecting.

The Ontario company was the successful bidder for the Municipality of Cumberland County's 10-year contract, which will cost taxpayers $13 million. The tender award was announced at county council's Dec. 7 session.

With the start of the new service, transfer stations will be closed around the county, and that idea still does not sit well with all councillors.

"I can't support the motion because I feel there was not enough public communication or input on this," said councillor John Reid. "A lot of areas do not want this new system and were not really consulted on it, and the price of it will increase by 60-70 per cent over a period of time with the additional service of composting, which people seem to like the idea of."

Cost increases with curbside collection negate previous arguments that transfer stations should be discontinued due to inefficiency, according to Reid.

"This further proves that transfer stations were of much cheaper cost that doing curbside, and I think the majority of people in my area would rather stay with transfer stations," said the District 9 councillor.

Councillor Ron MacNutt, who represents District 6, disagreed with Reid, saying the costs would increase no matter what they did, even if they did nothing.

"There would be significant capital costs to be extended for new trailers, compacting trailers at the transfer stations, and I think council did the right thing and weighed all the factors when it made the decision," said MacNutt. "To simply say we shouldn't do it because it (costs) twice as much as it was before, is really misleading."

Councillor Ernest Gilbert said there was one bid council did not receive that he would like to have seen - one that would not have involved a private contractor at all.

"I know the majority of councillors didn't want to go along with it, but I would have liked to have the price of what it costs to do it ourselves," said Gilbert, who represents District 8. "Because the bids, to my mind, were on the high side."

The motion was carried with nay votes from only Gilbert and Reid. Councillors Al Gillis and Ratchford Merriam were absent.

Originally an Amherst-based company, PBS was sold to Ontario-based Miller Waste in September.

Organizations: PBS Waste Services, Miller Waste

Geographic location: Ontario, Cumberland County

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Recent comments

  • James Mackinnon
    January 18, 2012 - 07:30

    I must comment on the recent article about the awarding of a curbside solid waste pickup contract to an Ontario firm. This was Council's response to the provincial Government's attempt to reduce solid waste under the Enviromental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. Two thoughts immediatley come to mind. How does curbside pickup reduce the amount of solid waste ? Answer: It does not. Where it it picked up does not change the amount.Secondly, how does increasing the cost 60% -70% to the taxpayer contribute to the "sustainable prosperity" of citizens. Again: It does not. It simply contributes to the prosperity of the contractor.To simply state that "cost will rise, even if we do nothing" in my opinion, is a defeatist attitude and lacks imaginative thinking. Perhaps if Council would have consulted the public about this important matter, maybe we could have come to a more creative solution instead of just sticking this decision down our throats. When I recently attended a council meeting , the voices of over two hundred taxpayers, in the form of a petition opposing this decision were basically ignored. Also ignored, was a letter to our councilman requesting information , including several questions pertaining to the awarding of this contract . It seems that council has become all knowing, and taxpayers with legitimate concerns are just bothersome. This has become ,simply put, over-taxation without representation. James Mackinnon New Salem