County waste management keeps 800 trucks of garbage out of landfill annually

Article by Valerie MacDonald/NorCtyimage

Over 800 garbage trucks of waste are being kept out of Northumberland County landfills annually, according to a waste department presentation prepared for county councillors at their January, 2021 meeting.

A series of programs including green bin food waste, blue and grey box recycling programs that came into effect during the last month of 2020, joined earlier established leaf-and-waste collections, bulky plastics, and household hazardous waste, at the end of 2020.

The County’s long-term waste management master plan’s objective is to divert 75% of residential waste from landfill. And according to this year’s waste services operating budget the total cost is $13.8-million with $5.6-million of that paid through the levy,  after revenues of such things as bag tag sales ($3.7-million), tipping fees $(2.3-million) and about $730,000 from recyclable product sales.

The curbside collection contract for 2021 costs just under $5.4-million which is joined by the $2.6-million to operate the Material Recovery Facility in Grafton.

The capital budget (covering everything from replacing the landfill pumping station at the former Eagleson landfill site near Grafton, remediation and expansion of the Brighton Landfill site) adds another $2.8-million onto the amount the tax levy must cover.

According to a chart comparing program performance between 2014 and the end of last year, there has been a five per cent increase in the amount of residential waste collected totalling 8,5111 tonnes and residential waste drop off has declined about 4 per cent.

In addition, the residue from the Material Recovery Facility in Grafton – items that can’t be sold and/or are contaminated and must go to landfill – has decreased 13% during the same period.

In other county news during the virtual council session on January 27, Mandy Martin read her oath of office as she officially became Northumberland County’s, Deputy Warden.

Warden Bob Crate and the County’s Chief Administrative Officer, Jennifer Moore, presided over the first Northumberland County Staff Service Awards of 2021, both thanking the County’s employees for stepping up to the plate during the pandemic.

The Warden recognized them for “their resilience” in meeting their responsibilities “during these challenging times” while Moore thanked staff for the various ways they have come up with “new ways” during “this difficult period.”

Commemorative gifts are awarded every five years during these award sessions with three workers being recognized this month for 35 years of service with Northumberland County.

A lengthy in-camera session was held in the midst of the open council meeting dealing, in part, with the County’s Broadband Strategy and proposed land acquisition.

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