The District of Muskoka has a long road to travel before they get rid of all the region’s bin sites but they’ve begun taking steps in the right direction.
The engineering and public works committee recently received an update on the District’s bin site transition program.
Committee heard that by the end of the year, the District will have transitioned seven sites in 2021. However, that still leaves some 70 sites across Muskoka left to deal with.
Unstaffed dumpster sites, also referred to as bin sites, have been in operation throughout the District for over 20 years on road allowances, vacant lands, and at commercial businesses like marinas, without provincial approval. According to the District, they provided a convenient location for waste collection for residents that do not receive curbside collection at their property (e.g., at marinas for residents with water-access properties and on road allowances for residents on private roads inaccessible for waste collection vehicles).
In 2019, the District was formally notified by the province that unstaffed, unlicensed bin sites would have to be transitioned to compliant waste collection servicing over a four-year period, with complete abatement by April 2023.
According to District staff, to provide adequate opportunity for public consultation and education and to minimize the potential for illegal dumping, bins are being transitioned out of service sequentially as the District consults with communities, gathers information on servicing needs, and implements alternate waste collection servicing.
This year discussion on servicing continued in multiple areas, including Kahshe Lake, Gull Lake and Silver Lake, Lake Rosseau (Minett), Lake Rosseau (Windermere) and several other areas. Five community surveys were also undertaken.
In 2021 Lakeside Waste Collection also continued as a result of the successful 2020 pilot program and was expanded to additional locations. Supervised, stationary collection vehicles were placed at landings for scheduled events every Sunday during the summer at six locations across the region.
During the meeting staff also said plans are underway to plan a winter Lakeside Waste Collection pilot. Winter servicing in remote areas with significant drive times to existing waste facilities is proving challenging. Information from the winter pilot will be used to assess the viability of servicing communities where winter curbside collection cannot be facilitated.
Fifteen sites are proposed to transition to curbside or special landing collection throughout 2022.
The Lakeside Waste Collection program will also be expanded to include 11 summer pick-up locations.
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