St. Lazare approves mandatory trash bins
This is precisely the kind of curbside display that St. Lazare’s proposed 240-litre garbage bins are designed to end. Council has yet to decide whether to retain the current garbage pickup schedule, increase the frequency or allow households to purchase additional bins.
by JIM DUFF and JULIE CADIEUX
ST. LAZARE — Council was expected to vote at last night’s meeting to adopt a $550k loan bylaw for the purchase of mandatory 240-litre bins to replace the hodgepodge of trash receptacles being used by the 6,500 addresses.
The aim is twofold — to allow for mechanized trash pickup, as with the blue recycling bins, and to encourage residents and businesses to reduce the amount of trash they produce.
Council originally intended to buy 360-litre bins, but the Vaudreuil-Soulanges MRC wants to see the smaller bins as a county standard. They are already being used in several municipalities under a common contract.
While some argue that the smaller bins encourage recycling and composting, others fear it’s too big a jump for residents already dealing with garbage pickup every two weeks between May and October.
It remains to be decided whether residents will be allowed to put out a second bin, purchased at their own expense. The Town of Rigaud ran into opposition from residents when it instituted its one-240-litre bin per household edict earlier this year.
Asked whether residents would have the option of having two bins, or if trash pickup would revert to weekly all year long, mayor Pierre Kary admitted to having reservations
“I don’t want to act until I know where we are going with the (trash) bins issue,” he said last week.
He said he favours a transitional phase, buying the bins, getting a program in place and easing into it in small steps. “The environment is important to me but so are our residents,” he says.
Kary has said he hopes the smaller bins will encourage more recycling and composting, but there’s a debate at the MRC level as to whether there should be county-wide composting, or whether it should be left to the initiative of individual municipalities. The Town of St. Lazare runs an annual leaf pickup program, but many residents still fill orange plastic garbage bags and leave them for garbage pickup.
Kary is hoping smaller garbage bins and pickup restrictions will encourage howeowners to change their habits. Once the new bins are in place, nothing else will be picked up, not leaves, not large objects left by the curb. Hazardous household waste, large objects such as appliances, mattresses and renovation waste, will have to be transported to one of the four regional eco-centres in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Rigaud, Ile Perrot and Les Coteaux. However the eco-centres aren’t up and running yet and won’t handle composting, so the MRC and more developed municipalities like St. Lazare have to decide how to bridge the gap until the eco-centres are operating — and whether to start composting on a municipal or regional scale.
The Hudson St. Lazare Gazette – June 8 2011- Julie Cadieux