Thousands of residents in Ottawa’s west end say their curbside garbage pickup is routinely late, and one city councillor believes it’s due to a shortage of garbage trucks caused by a fire at a contractor’s facility.
Since May, the city’s contractor for the area has regularly failed to collect household waste, recycling and composting by the end of the designated collection day, according to many residents.
We pay taxes, we pay all our bills, we pay everything, but unfortunately the garbage is still there.
– Elizabeth Fanganiello, Kanata resident
Standing next to a pile of uncollected waste at the end of her driveway, Kanata resident Elizabeth Fanganiello said she’s losing patience with the city.
“Look at that! All the garbage along the street. It’s frustrating,” Fanganiello said. “Somebody needs to do something. We pay taxes, we pay all our bills, we pay everything, but unfortunately the garbage is still there.”
The affected wards appear to be Kanata-South, Stittsville and West Carleton-March.
Residents say in most cases, the garbage trucks show up the next day, but they say that’s still leaving a mess with trash blowing around the streets, and a smell with the summer sun beating down on exposed green bins.
Councillor wants action
Calls to Waste Management, the contractor hired by the city to collect curbside waste in those wards, were not immediately returned.
In a written response, the City of Ottawa’s director of solid waste services, Marilyn Journeaux, said the city is actively working with the company to meet service standards, and the contractor is implementing additional measures.
The councillor for Stittsville said he’s heard the complaints from residents and is demanding action.
“I completely understand the residents’ frustration,” Coun. Glenn Gower said. “It’s not the level of service any resident or anyone at the city expects, and I know city staff are working hard to get the contractor to pick up the slack and get this fixed.”
Fire may be factor
Gower said the city might consider fining Waste Management for failing to meet its contractual obligations. He said on days when the contractor fails to collect all the waste, the city has been deploying its own crews to help finish the job.
“I’m still trying to get to the bottom of why this has been going on for so long, and why it can’t get fixed sooner. From what I’ve been able to tell, ultimately it’s not enough trucks out there on the road,” Gower said.
Gower believes a fire on June 15 at Waste Management’s facility on Westbrook Road in Stittsville that damaged eight garbage trucks is likely a factor in the slow-down.
Until the problem can be resolved, Gower is asking residents to leave their curbside waste out until it’s collected, and to call 311 if the delay lasts more than a day.