By Kevin Werner, News Staff
The good news is there will be no changes to the city’s waste collection system next year to disrupt how homeowners put out their curbside waste.
The bad news is there could be some confusion over how residents use the new trash tags beginning in April.
Politicians agreed to continue the trash tag system that was introduced April 1, 2013. Each resident received 12 tags through the mail. Homeowners can ask through the city’s website, or at a nearby municipal service centre the 14 other tags for a total of 26 to be used throughout the year.
But there were a number of homeowners who either didn’t receive the tags, or unknowingly threw out the pink-coloured tags contained in the city’s garbage and recycling guide, believing it was junk mail.
Angela Storey, manager of business and support services in the public works department, said the city used Canada Post to deliver the tags, reaching about 95 per cent of residents. She acknowledged there were some areas of the city that were missed, but very few. The cost to the city was about $16,800.
Storey said last year’s envelop design possibly confused homeowners who didn’t believe it held anything important.
She said this year the tags will be inside an official package with city of Hamilton identification so residents won’t throw it out.
She said about 6,600 residents requested the 14 other tags for use during the year.
Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson urged his colleagues to allow homeowners to use any extra 2013 trash tags after March 31, 2014 when the new green tags are introduced.
He said residents could become “confused” when switching from the pink trash tags to the green tags that are required in April, 2014.
But members of the Dec. 2 public works committee didn’t agree, and rejectedFerguson’s suggestion.
Still, councillors applauded waste staff for keeping any changes to the service at a minimum because of the upheaval homeowners have had to endure over the last five years.
“Garbage is a very sensitive issue,” saidFerguson. “Thank God you are not changing anything else.”
He said last year some residents in Ancaster didn’t get the trash tags, or they were thrown out believing the information to be junk mail.
“They are changing the packaging,” he said. “It will look like a letter from the city with the garbage tags enclosed.”
Meanwhile, city waste staff says the trash tags are having an impact on the illegal dumping problem. As of September 2013, there were 673 illegal dumping complaints, compared with 732 during the same period in 2012.