CBRM councillor proposes annual heavy garbage collection should happen every second year

A Cape Breton Regional Municipality councillor is proposing a cost-saving change to the annual Residential Heavy Garbage Collection.

"It's very popular and we see people going through trying to collect metals and what not that could be salvageable, and even lamps or furniture that people don't have use for that are still useful," said Eldon MacDonald, a CBRM councillor.

For many residents of Cape Breton, the annual heavy garbage pickup is a sign of spring and warmer temperatures to come. Once a year residents can put larger and heavier items curbside – such as sofas, dressers, hot water tanks, and bath tubs – for garbage collectors pick it up.

MacDonald suggests changing the annual heavy garbage collection to every second year as a way to save the city money.

"If we could fund another project that's in need of some funding, that gives us that opportunity, so I'd look to at least have the discussion," said MacDonald.

According to MacDonald, heavy garbage collection costs about $250,000 each year. He also says piles of garbage along roadsides and sidewalks often become an eyesore.

Dylan Yates is the president of the Cape Breton Environment Association. He says he supports saving the municipality money, but is worried illegal dumping could become more frequent, costing the municipality more money to clean up in the long run.

"I feel like if we have it every two years, we're going to see an increase in illegal dumped materials in the community," said Yates. "People expect to have it annually, so I think it's a program we should keep annually. It's important to the residents and to the environment."

MacDonald says this year's heavy garbage pickup is expected to go ahead but he's proposing a change for future years.