By Chad Ingram
Published Dec. 1 2016
Minden Hills residents would like to see more options for the disposal of household hazardous waste a survey shows.
Cambium Consulting and Engineering is drafting a development and operations plan for the Scotch Line landfill and conducted the survey earlier this month.
There was a total of 96 respondents – 77 per cent of whom were year-round residents and 23 per cent seasonal. Many of the seasonal residents who responded said they plan on becoming year-round residents in the near future.
One of the most common comments was that Minden Hills should offer more days when residents can drop off household hazardous waste or even create a permanent facility for the disposal of such.
The provision of composting facilities was another common suggestion (nearly half of respondents said they practise backyard composting) as was allowing scavenging more recycling options and mandatory recycling for commercial businesses.
“I think we need to form some kind of liaison with homebuilders” Councillor Pam Sayne said during a Nov. 24 meeting adding it would be nice if more materials taken to the landfill by construction companies could be repurposed for other projects.
“You certainly want to encourage the industry to take care of themselves and do the right thing” Cambium general manager of environmental services Dave Bucholtz told councillors.
The survey found the current average level of satisfaction with the township’s landfill system is 3.2 out of five.
“That’s above average” Bucholtz said. “In general terms residents are fairly happy with the way the system is running right now.”
While Minden Hills operates five landfills the largest Scotch Line sees about 80 per cent of overall traffic.
Other smaller sites are located near Ingoldsby Little Gull Lake Irondale and Iron Mine Road.
Sixty per cent of survey respondents said they’d like to see the status quo maintained while 12 per cent favoured the option of one centralized landfill and 33 per cent wanted two centralized landfills.
While the current per week limit for bags of household garbage is three the survey showed 75 per cent of respondents would prefer reducing the amount of trash by setting the limit at one bag per week versus 25 who would favour a pay-as-you-throw system where a per-bag fee is charged.
Another comment was that more methods of payment should be permitted at landfills. Currently they operate on a cash-only basis where any fees are concerned.
Bucholtz said this is common in rural municipalities although some do offer debit and credit options.
Chief administrative officer Lorrie Blanchard pointed out that the township also sets up accounts for invoicing that option used mostly by businesses.
Other comments included complaints about seagulls muddy roads nails in tires and attendants being too strict.
“These people are put in a position where they are enforcing and they’re not always liked” Bucholtz said.
In operation for more than 65 years the Scotch Line landfill has about 222500 cubic metres of capacity remaining. With residents generating about 7000 cubic metres of waste per year that puts the landfill’s remaining lifespan at about 30 years.