There's probably no more contentious issue in the city right now other than waste (although I freely admit that I could be wrong). The roll-out of the new carts, the implementation of an adjusted three-stream collection method and the opening of the new organic process plant have all had their stumbling blocks, but to paraphrase an old saying, if you want something done right, register your own bright ideas with city hall through a survey!
The results of that survey, which was conducted earlier this fall, have been collected and collated, and are ready to be sent back out to the city at large to provoke further discussion. In brief, the results of the survey found that people like the idea of waste diversion, but don't like the idea of paying more in property taxes and user fees in order to explore those methods. Shocking, I know.
Here's the complete press release from city hall:
Guelph, On, December 4, 2013 – Improving waste reduction at businesses and multi-residential properties were identified by residents as top priorities for the City to improve its waste management practices. This is according to the results of a recent survey conducted as part of the Solid Waste Management Master Plan (SWMMP) Review.
Investigating alternative waste disposal options, improving recycling in public spaces, and establishing a reuse centre at the public drop-off are other areas residents feel the City should focus on.
While the majority of residents strongly agree the City should help multi-residential properties and businesses identify waste reduction solutions, they do not support a property tax increase to fund programs designed to increase waste diversion.
The SWMMP Review survey polled residents to gauge attitudes and perceptions about Guelph’s waste management programs and services and identify priorities for improving its waste management system. A telephone survey, administered by Metroline Research Group Inc., was completed by 400 randomly selected households in Guelph in September. The results of the phone survey can be considered accurate to within ± 4.9 per cent, 19 out of 20 times. The same survey questions were posted on the City’s website where 209 residents completed the survey between September 12 and October 31. Of the total respondents, 84 from the telephone survey and 59 for the online survey live in multi-residential households.
Three quarters of the residents that took part in the telephone survey support the use of waste-to-energy technology as an alternative to sending waste to landfill; 68 per cent of residents that completed the online survey also agree that the City should support this disposal option. The results also indicate that the majority of residents from both surveys would support the use of energy-from-waste options if the cost was the same or less than the cost of landfill.
The majority of survey participants’ said they were not in favour of a user-fee waste management program where residents would receive a bill based on the number and size of grey carts they use, rather than paying for waste collection through property taxes.
The survey results, findings from the stakeholder focus groups held last month, and other community input received will be used by the SWMMP Review Steering Committee to help develop recommendations for Council’s consideration.
A second open house will take place in early 2014 for residents to learn about the waste minimization and diversion options identified during the review process and to provide feedback.
For more information about the SWMMP Review and to read the survey findings report visit http://guelph.ca/plans-and-strategies/solid-waste-management-master-plan/.