Regional Waste Management initiative opposed; each municipality responsible for garbage collection


A Regional Waste Management initiative has been thrown out. 

During Tuesday's meeting's, the Municipality of Lakeshore and the Town of LaSalle were presented a report at their respective meetings 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.

Both council's opposed the report, with LaSalle council opposing the report unanimously with councillor Jeff Renaud absent. 

In order for the County-wide organics program to be rolled out, four of the seven municipalities needed to approve the by-law, and in order for that to happen LaSalle or Lakeshore needed to approve it on Tuesday evening.  

The Warden of Essex County, Hilda MacDonald, says she's disappointed because she thought regional garbage pick-up would be more efficient. 

The Essex Windsor Solid Waste Authority will be rolling out an organics program in 2025 to comply with provincial legislation, and was looking for the municipalities to follow through with the change as a region. 

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

Ryan McNamara, Lakeshore councillor, voted in favour of the report and says the focus should be diverting waste from the landfill. 

"That's what this is about. This is about teaching our residents not to be wasteful. Windsor-Essex County is the most wasteful region per capita in Ontario. And we need to make changes. And the only way we make changes is if we all stand up and be leaders, and say this is wrong, and we need to make changes to make sure that we protect our assets."

Ian Ruston, Lakeshore councillor, opposed the report and says there's too many questions left unanswered. 

"A lot of unknowns here. We talk about unknowns for the reason to do it, but there's unknowns for me for the reason not to do it. So, at this point in time, I will not be supporting it."

Sue Desjarlais, LaSalle councillor, opposed the report and says she's concerned there is no information on the financial aspects of switching. 

"I'm concerned because LaSalle has historically paid the higher price for just about everything. I think our residents are flexible to a point, however, they want to see proof that the payment that they're making through their tax bill is really going to be worth the services that we're providing."

Warden Hilda MacDonald says collection will now be each municipalities responsibility. 

"The garbage that's not organics, and is not recyclable material will be picked up, per contract, for each municipality. So we'll each have our own price, and we'll each have our own specifications. So it's just not under one umbrella, it will stay under the seven municipalities under their own control."

MacDonald says the issue is that during strategic planning, County council spoke on becoming a ''regional powerhouse''.

"If we can't come together on something as basic as garbage pick up, I find it hard to envision us becoming that regional powerhouse because we're not thinking as a region, we're thinking as each individual municipality."

She says she's not sure if it will be brought up again to join forces on the matter. 

"Everyone will just continue on their own like they've been doing for the last however many years. And if they do find at some point in time that they want to be more efficient, I guess someone will have to bring it up again. Do I think that'll happen soon? I don't know."

Tecumseh, Leamington, and Amherstburg approved the report. 

Essex, Lakeshore, LaSalle and Kingsville opposed the report. 

Warden MacDonald says that all municipalities will carry on with garbage collection at the local level.