Waste Management says its caught up on trash collection, fined

WEST CARLETON – Waste Management vice president Aaron Johnson says they are “caught up” on west Ottawa garbage collection but are still on the hook for more than $200,000 in fines.

Since last April residents of West Carleton, Kanata, Stittsville and Bay ward have been plagued with spotty trash pickup since April.

The company had blamed a fire that destroyed eight of its trucks as well as staff shortages, but is now reporting curbside collection is back on track.

“I am happy to report that as of Sunday (Sept. 15), we are completely caught up and are no longer experiencing collection delays,” Johnson wrote in a letter to Ottawa city councillors.

Waste Management has been penalized more than $200,000 for failing to live up to its garbage collection contract in Ottawa’s west end, city councillors on the environment committee heard Tuesday (Sept. 17).

Johnson said Waste Management employees from Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and across Ontario pitched in to help.

He thanked residents for their patience, and also acknowledged city crews and Miller Waste Systems, the company that will take over the west-end collection contract in June 2020, for helping deal with the backlog.

On Tuesday, councillors learned the city has collected $213,000 from Waste Management so far for instances when it has not fulfilled its contract, which began in 2012.

The city sent a formal letter of non-compliance to Waste Management in June.

In recent weeks, city crews have been picking up garbage and recycling on Waste Management routes and will continue to pitch in as needed over the coming weeks. The city intends to charge Waste Management for those extra costs as well.

“We’re not dealing with a negligent company here, we’re dealing with a company that has had a great relationship with the City of Ottawa,” said Coun. Scott Moffatt, who noted Waste Management is not denying any of the problems and is now trying to fix them.

But some councillors still want answers.

“We need to take a dive into what happened here,” Coun. Allan Hubley said.