Residents of Comox will soon have their garbage collection pick-ups cut in half, as council has decided to switch to a biweekly collection.
Additionally, after some consideration of weekly recycling, pickups will remain bi-weekly, and yard waste and organic collection will remain weekly.
The decision came after some debate during July’s council meeting; the reduction in pickup will see a decrease in yearly costs of $158,000 which represents a 1.9 per cent tax decrease – about $23 per household.
Acting mayor Ken Grant said the subject of garbage pickup within the municipality has been around for many years. He noted a change won’t come without some controversy.
Coun. Maureen Swift added that garbage collection is one of the Town’s core services.
“I know Cumberland got some negative press when they changed. I think our residents would be happiest with organics and recycling every week, and garbage biweekly.”
The motion that the Town moves to the new collection system was originally defeated. With Mayor Russ Arnott away on sick leave, six members at the council table voted with the result ending in a tie (Couns. Alex Bissinger, Pat McKenna and Stephanie McGowan voted in favour of the motion).
As a tie is a defeated vote, Coun. Swift proposed an amended motion for a system of biweekly garbage collection, weekly recycling along with weekly yard waste and organic collection.
Coun. Bissinger noted she couldn’t see how reducing garbage pickup is going to increase recycling.
“I think the people who are recycling are going to be doing it, and the people who aren’t, aren’t going to be doing it more. I’m not going to produce more recycling. I don’t see one contributing to the other – it doesn’t make any sense, and if anything, we’re increasing greenhouse gas emissions by having more pickups.”
The motion was defeated during a tie, as Couns. Minions, Grant and Swift voted in favour of the amended motion.
Coun. Nicole Minions then inquired if she could move the original motion for reconsideration. During a two-step process, a vote to reopen the debate on the original motion passed, and a motion for biweekly garbage and recycling, along with weekly organic and yard waste pick up was back on the table and eventually passed with Couns. McGowan, McKenna, Bissinger and Minions voting in favour.