Areas 3,4 and 5 wont make the switch until 2018. That was the result of a new motion debated at Moose Jaw City Council Monday night as the minutes from a marathon, two hour executive committee meeting last Monday came forward for approval.
The meeting last week resulted in a full review of the switch to curbside garbage collection in Areas 1 and 2. The idea was that officials would use the results of that review to tweak the program before rolling in out to the rest of the city in the near future. But as the minutes of that meeting came forward for approval, councillors jumped in with both feet and rehashed all their talking points again.
Mayor Fraser Tolmie said there are obvious concerns with the program but there are benefits as well, then he moved an amendment that would delay any further rollout.
"... that council review the five criteria adopted August 14th, 2017 with the 2018 budget process." moved Tolmie. "This means that we will continue as we are, learn of the challenges and then decide the next moves in the new year.
Councillors Chris Warren and Don Mitchell both argued against the continuation of curbside collection in Areas 1 and 2 while the review was being conducted saying it does nothing to address the wide spread problems that they are hearing about. City Manager Matt Noble challenged the assertions, saying City Hall staff are doing everything they can to address concerns that are being communicated to them and over 90% of the first two areas are now complying with the changes.
"We have gone out and measured every person's (gate) who complained that their gate was too small and there's not one gate, that we were told to go to, that was too small." stated Noble. "Here's the thing, it's always generalizations, give us specifics and we'll deal with them."
Councillor Dawn Luhning questioned the motion from last week and the amendment from Mayor Tolmie saying she has heard nothing but good things from people she's spoken with in Areas 1 and 2.
"I just do not understand why we're still talking about curbside implementation... we have bigger fish to fry than worrying about whether these bins are pulled front street." said Luhning. "If everybody believes that it's so difficult, then just make a motion to get rid of it."
The entire delay was started in August when Councillor Warren presented a motion that drastically changed the criteria for how an area was determined to be a "problem spot" and therefore pulled from the program. City administration returned with a report that explained the new criteria would eliminate 65% of the city from taking part in curbside garbage collection. That reduction of homes, combined with the zigzag approach to collection that would have to be used, would eliminate any cost savings that were originally proposed back with the budget.
With this latest motion, Areas 3,4 and parts of 5 won't be converted to curbside until council contemplates a report on the rollout in Areas 1 and 2. Considering the budget took until the end of April to receive approval, the second phase of implementation could be delayed until Spring of 2018.
And for those wondering, this new motion has no impact on bi-weekly garbage collection. That change will continue as originally proposed, in fact the city issued a reminder on Monday reminding residents that collection will switch to bi-weekly on October 1st for both garbage and recycling, no matter where you put your bins.