Winnipeg councillor trashes Emterra's garbage service
Russ Wyatt wants city contract with Emterra reviewed
Some Winnipeg city councillors want administration to take another look at its garbage and recycling contract with Emterra.
A report to the city shows in 2013 there were 16,295 homes with missed garbage and recycling pick-up.
Coun. Russ Wyatt said there have been problems with Emterra's equipment breaking down in the winter.
"And then last summer we had another issue," he said, referring to crews seen dumping trash and recycling into the same trucks.
The company, which was awarded a five-year contract in 2012, has also been criticized for garbage and recycling pickup delays and was facing big fines from the city.
"It seems to come in waves and that's the concern that I have and I think other members of council have — that these are issues that are systemic to the company that have to be addressed," Wyatt said.
Garbage collection is a city service citizens expect, he added.
"This is a basic service and it's been disappointing."
Justin Swandel, chair of the public works committee, said the service is improving and councillors need to be patient.
The data also showed that not all 16,295 pickups were missed by Emterra. About 1,000 of those were BFI’s responsibility.
Coun. Ross Eadie wants to see Emterra’s contract changed.
“People are sick and tired of calling it in. They’re so frustrated that they’re not calling it in anymore, so I think in 2013, those numbers are somewhat skewed,” he said.
Eadie said he would like to see trash collection divided up between four companies.
West End neighbourhoods wait weeks for pickup
Wyatt’s complaints come at the same time two West End neighbourhoods have been left waiting for weeks for trash pickup.
“It’s been going on since I moved in the building, and I’ve lived here for about two years now,” said Katelyn Spence, who lives on Young Street.
City officials said BFI hasn’t picked up the trash in the back lanes because deep ruts are preventing garbage trucks from safely driving down them.
Other issues include residents putting trash too close to the fence, so automated trucks can’t pluck the bins up and dump their contents into the appropriate container.
City officials said the route would be plowed and the trash collection will resume in the lanes on Friday.