Amherstburg council approves Regional Waste Management initiative after close vote


Amherstburg council has voted in favour of moving forward with the Regional Waste Management initiative after a close vote. 

During Monday's meeting, council voted 4-3 in favour after a lengthy discussion to support the County of Essex by-law, being a by-law to transfer all power of the lower tier municipalities of the County with respect to the collection of waste and the delivery of such waste. 

The Essex Windsor Solid Waste Authority will be rolling out a County-wide organics program in 2025 to comply with provincial legislation, and is looking for the municipalities to follow through with the change under the County as one entity. 

This change would see a new weekly organic collection, bi-weekly garbage collection, bi-weekly leaf and yard waste collection, and monthly white goods collection. 

Chris Gibb, deputy mayor of Amherstburg, voted in favour and says all the local municipalities need to show the province that they can work together as a region. 

"We can't keep going to them asking for money, asking for them to pay for our infrastructure, and all the other things, and when we have an opportunity to solve our own problem here in Essex County, if we don't take it, that just gives the province the idea that we don't know what we're doing down here."

Councillor Linden Crain voted in favour and says education is key for residents to understand when to put out their organics and garbage. 

"Once every two weeks for garbage pick-up, one we eliminate the organics there's less issues where you'll have, if you're holding onto something for two weeks without organics being picked up, that's when you run into issues with pests that are getting into the garbage. But if you have that weekly organic system in place it helps solve that issue."

Peter Courtney, Amherstburg councillor, opposed the report and says he would've supported the change if there was any proven details of cost saving. 

"Even if it was a dollar, proven, I'd probably say yeah, but there's nothing. There's nothing that makes me feel good about it. I'm not worried about the threat of the government, by 2025 I just don't know how anything is going to change anyway."

The Province of Ontario passed legislation requiring municipalities of a certain density and population to establish an organic program to divert organic waste from the landfill.

This by-law will require that at least four of the seven local municipalities, comprising at least 50 per cent of the electors in the County pass resolutions in support of the change. 

So far, Tecumseh, Leamington, and now Amherstburg have voted in favour, while the Town of Essex unanimously opposed the change. 

LaSalle and Lakeshore will vote tonight on the initiative during their respective council meetings at 6 p.m., where one of the two will need to approve the report for the by-law to move forward.