The candidates running to be Sudbury's next mayor are hitting the campaign trail this week.
On Thursday, they spoke about garbage, thanks to a platform announcement from Dan Melanson.
Standing next to a sign next to a marsh along Southview Drive warning against illegal dumping, would-be-mayor Dan Melanson said the problem would be solved if bringing trash to the city landfill was totally free.
"This is a service at the dump that we already pay for,” he said.
“This is just a tax on a tax."
As mayor, Melanson said he would look at scrapping all tipping fees and keeping the dump open on Sundays.
He said he's not sure how much more that would cost taxpayers, but said he believes it would cut down on illegal roadside dumping, which he said city crews currently spend time cleaning up.
"That costs a lot of money. If we can reduce that, a lot of that would go to offset to whatever loss in revenue we have from tipping fees at the dump."
Former mayor John Rodriguez, who is running to once again wear the chain of office, questioned Melanson's logic.
"Long before there were tipping fees. People were dumping their garbage in the bush."
Rodriguez said the city should instead focus on getting more Sudburians to use the recycling programs their tax dollars already pay for.
"I don't want to make up policy in the heat of a campaign,” he said. “These things need to be well thought out."
One of the six other mayoral candidates, Jeff Huska, said Melanson's ideas would put even greater strain on city finances — and cost taxpayers in the end.
"We need to make our income revenue streams more efficient, not eliminating them and making taxpayers pay more in other areas to make up for that loss in revenue."
Huska said he agrees with Melanson about having the landfill open on Sundays. Huska is also calling for other city offices and services to be available in the evenings and on weekends.
Rodriguez is expected to announce a plank of his platform — on the future of Sudbury Hydro — later Friday morning.