West end garbage situation stinks

WEST CARLETON – Coun. Eli El-Chantiry says the city is working hard to fix the constant garbage pick-up problems plaguing the west end since last spring.

Late pick-up has been a thorn in the side of residents since last spring. Originally the delays were blamed on a garbage truck fire, but the problem seems to be bigger than that.

Mayor Jim Watson and west-end councillors are tired of the excuses and the delays.

“Garbage is a pretty basic service in the municipal world, and Waste Management has let us down, deeply,” Mayor Jim Watson said.

Waste Management, the company contracted by the city to collect the waste, has blamed the collection delays on staff shortages. The city has said the company has hired new drivers to address the problem.

“I think the public have been more than patient, and Waste Management, which I believe is the largest company of its kind in the world, has to get their act together,” said Watson.

The city has already signed a new contract with one of Waste Management’s competitors, Miller Waste Systems, which begins next June.

In the meantime, the mayor said the city has options, including fining Waste Management, if waste collection continues to be delayed.

Coun. El-Chantiry says the city is working hard to fix the problem locally.

“We are working to rectify the situation as soon as possible,” El-Chantiry released in a statement yesterday (Sept. 12).

El-Chantiry encourages residents to use the link www.ottawa.ca/garbage to report missed pick-ups.

“Your submitted request will go to city staff for their action,” El-Chantiry said.

The councillor says you can also call 311 or contact him directy at 613-580-2475 or eli.el-chantiry@ottawa.ca.

El-Chantiry says councillors discussed the issue at last Wednesday’s (Sept. 11) council meeting.

“It was agreed that Waste Management would be invited to attend the next meeting of the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management, to answer questions and provide information related to collection delays,” he said. “This meeting is taking place on Sept. 17 at City Hall. If Waste Management representatives agree to attend, I will be there to listen in and ask questions.”