Monday, April 10, 2017
Surprise Automated Garbage Presentation
Item not on agenda or addendum
Perhaps this council was feeling some well deserved 'heat' for their unjustified in-camera decision to move ahead with automated garbage pick up in Nanaimo. At the April 10 meeting, Ms Davis put on a short powerpoint presentation explaining all of the many benefits city taxpayers will enjoy with this $10 million expenditure.
After assuring everyone of the fact it will not need any more staff and that the bins can even be wheeled by a person in a wheelchair it seemed obvious a few factors were missing to support these claims. To itemize a few unknowns; when asked the cost of the bins, we were told that was unknown as an RFP had not gone out, when asked the cost of the trucks, we were told that was unknown as the RFP had not gone out and finally it was asked what the tipping fee would be for mixed organics, we were told that was also an unknown. How much would the yard waste add to the organics was also an unknown. How many people would opt for the driver coming into the yard and moving the bins in and out was also an unknown.
On another point, while we saw happy pictures of a lady carrying a child gleefully pulling a bin with one hand and a gentleman in a wheelchair also getting to the curb with no effort I was reminded of the fact I had asked Ms Davis if I could see the bins we will be using, and was told there were none in the city. That made me wonder how these happy user pictures were taken.
Absent from the pretty pictures was the man in the wheelchair dealing with his organics bin when it comes to loading and cleaning it after each use. It also didn't show the disadvantage to folk with small amounts of trash in a small garbage bag who now have to deal with a bin.
The fact that this presentation did not appear on the agenda nor the addendum once again denied the public the opportunity to ask some pertinent questions about this whole program. The most disturbing aspect of this whole enterprise is the fact that council and staff have still given absolutely no valid reason why this was decided in-camera.
To sum up according to Ms Davis it is not going to cost any more money, it won't mean any more staff and the actual benefit to customers will be improved, however, we don't know the cost of the bins, we don't know the cost of the trucks, we don't know the cost to dump the organics, we don't know how much the organics will add to the pick-up time. I can't be the only person having trouble accepting these claims as likely proving to be factual.