By Letter to the Editor on September 25, 2020.
Usually, when the City administration comes up with a proposal that defies common sense and causes needless and continuing problems for thousands of citizens, the mayor and council perform their duty as elected officials and overrule the bureaucrats. In the case of the new “one size fits all” garbage collection policy, the mayor and councillors are missing in action.
The bureaucrats should have been told at the outset that there are certain obvious realities that stem from urban planning and design. The older and some of the newer areas of the city were designed and built with back alleys. One of the main purposes of these alleys was for garbage collection. Often in these areas there are no front driveways, an important factor in street garbage collection. And there are often sloped lawns to go down and boulevards to cross before reaching the street. Not to mention all the parked cars because there are few driveways. Street garbage collection was never envisaged.
Some of the newer areas of the city were designed specifically not to have back alleys. Therefore, garbage collection from the street was incorporated into the urban planning and street design. This is not an issue that pits one neighbourhood against another. It is an issue of two very different layouts requiring two very different approaches.
The excuses offered for this need to drastically change policy mainly hinge upon garbage truck driver safety issues (which, if they had any air of reality, would be important) and a few almost amusing add-ons. The farcical nature of these “needs” was fully exposed at a very well-attended public meeting last fall.
There are thousands of citizens in this city who are going to be reminded once a week from now until the next election who it is that has caused them to have this needless and aggravating problem.