By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
For Councillor Doug Sanders, the idea that expanded trash collection in the downtown could cost as much as $75,000 is a little bit ridiculous.
The estimate comes from a recent staff report that looks at the idea of expanding trash collection services in the downtown BIA coverage area.
As it stands, the new businesses that came into the BIA fold after the expansion was approved in 2016, have yet to receive the increased level of waste collection received by other members. Currently, some businesses in the previous BIA boundary receive waste collection three times a week, and recycling twice per week. There is no organics collection in the downtown.
Ahead of the city’s expansion of the BIA, it was promoted that these increased service levels would be offered to the new businesses who came into the fold. However, to date, these services have not been offered, despite the fact these new businesses are paying the same level of additional tax for BIA services as those receiving the additional waste collection.
“We have to get it done, and I just think because they’re paying the BIA taxes, it should include those businesses,” Sanders says.
However, those expanded services won’t come cheap. According to a staff report on the matter, expanding waste collection to the additional streets could cost as much as $75,000, and estimates from the region are even higher with the cost of additional recycling services running at $130,000.
“All we did was expand about six streets so there’s no way it’s a $75,000 cost,” Sanders says. “That’s why we need more information on that.”
Part of the confusion may stem from the inclusion of approximately 333 residential properties inside the expanded BIA, and whether these houses would be included if the services were expanded. The report notes that if the homes are left on their normal schedule, it may create confusion as more waste trucks will be in the area, causing people to put their trash out on the wrong days.
It’s an assumption that Sanders scoffs at, noting that people will learn what day to put their trash out and stick to it.
As it stands, council has referred the item back to staff to gather further information around the potential costs and impacts of the service expansion.