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City Releases Solid Waste Resources Review Results

Web posted on September 12, 2017

Guelph, Ont., September 2017 A special Council meeting will be held on Monday, September 18 at 7 p.m. at which staff will present initial findings of the Solid Waste Resources (SWR) business service review in an interim report. Council won't be asked to make any decisions at the meeting; there are no staff recommendations in the report, merely an overview of findings to date.

The report details that, while service review work is ongoing, initial findings show that five of six City of Guelph waste services are in line and cost competitive with comparator municipalities.

The SWR business service review examines waste services in six service groups:

  • Curbside waste collection including leaf and yard waste
  • Source Separated Organics (SSO) Facility
  • Public Drop-Off (PDO) and transfer station
  • Household hazardous waste (HHW)
  • Residuals (garbage) management
  • Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)

Initial findings show curbside collection performs very well, even exceeding most of the participating comparators who provide collection by fully or partially contracting out the service.

Of the six services examined, only the Material Recovery Facility operations are below benchmark performance. As a result, the City may consider changes to the existing operation or other options for processing recyclables in the future. Possible options will be examined during the next phase of the Solid Waste Resources business service review.

Peter Busatto, general manager of Environmental Services explains, "Knowing one waste service is not performing as well as our comparators allows us to explore the service further and assess implications of pending legislative changes to find solutions and make improvements. The whole point of the review is to provide the best possible service for our residents."

Council will have an opportunity to discuss the following information at the September 18 meeting:

  • scope and objectives of the business service review
  • service overview of Solid Waste Resources
  • methodology used during the review
  • community engagement and communications
  • initial high-level findings about each of the services reviewed
  • next steps
  • Robust engagement

One of the fundamental principles of the City's service review framework is to engage and inform stakeholders throughout the process.

As part of this review, the City engaged with solid waste employees, CUPEthe union representing solid waste employeesand residents. In the spirit of transparency and cooperation, the City has invited CUPE representatives to participate in the review. It has also kept employees apprised of progress at every step.

Third party technical experts
The City worked with an external, impartial, technical expert to conduct service and municipal comparator analysis. Meticulous research and data gathering, along with community and staff feedback, will help build on initial findings to make final recommendations to Council this November.

"As an objective service provider, the City has no pre-conceived outcomes or service delivery solution for waste services in Guelph," says Busatto. "While we continue to explore options as part of the Solid Waste Resources business service review, we remain committed to integrity, diligence and transparency."

Speak at the meeting or provide written comments
Members of the public and other stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the Council meeting by speaking as delegates or providing written comments. Those wishing to speak to City Council on September 18 must contact the City Clerk's Office at 519-837-5603 or email clerks@guelph.ca no later than Friday, September 15 at 10 a.m. to register as a delegation.

For those who prefer to comment in writing, written comments must be submitted no later than Friday, September 15 at 10 a.m.

A final report with SWR business service review recommendations will go to Council on November 20.


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