Muskoka Lakes is 50 per cent behind other, more efficient Ontario municipalities when it comes to recycling.
According to Muskoka Lakes Mayor Phil Harding, Muskoka Lakes recycles about 30 per cent of its waste, while other municipalities in Ontario recycle up to 60 per cent of their waste.
This appears to be due to recycling programs in the township not being up to standards. This was stated during the July 14 council meeting.
Bracebridge, where the Muskoka Lakes garbage goes, is filling up too fast. “Before my grandson graduates high school it will be full,” said Mayor Harding.
Also according to Mayor Harding, the township has had problems with their waste contractor during the past 12 months. “They have blamed Covid and a number of issues, but we have had far too many for anybody’s liking, missed collections. And it’s nice to say let’s just go get a new contractor involved, but when the cost of your solid waste in doing so doubles, we’re going to get even more pushback.” he said.
After Councillor Glenn Zavitz asked if it is possible to get more answers from the provincial government regarding the waste situation, Harding stated that Muskoka needs to be responsible for its own garbage, meaning that there won’t be provincial assistance.
Big garbage bin sites that are used by the community may also be part of the waste problem.
“The simple answer to understand bin sites is that we must own our garbage. So what you put at the end of the road should be able to be tracked back to you, the group bins or community sites where anyone can throw anything in there, the garbage is not owned. The province has said that you can’t do that.”
Mayor Harding said that staff were working on options and ways to move forward but admitted that the cost of garbage and recycling in this province continues to escalate.
Municipal staff are going to make recommendations on ways to improve local waste management. These recommendations could include bag limits, use of clear bags and expanded organics programs, as stated in the meeting.
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