Monday, January 24, 2011

2.5 Changes to "Collection Day"

If you’re like me, I can’t remember what to recycle each week; I can’t remember whether it’s a “paper” week – recycle newsprint, paper and cardboard – or whether it’s a “blue box” week – recycle cans, bottles, and plastic trays, tubs, and lids.

Well, starting February 28, two-and-a-half things are going to change on “garbage day.”

First, you will be able to recycle each “stream” of material every week. That means that we can take out both the paper recycling (in the grey bin) and the cans and bottles (blue box) each week.

But, don’t combine the materials into one bin; please keep it separate so that it can be collected in separate compartments on the trucks and effectively dealt with at the Recycling Centre.

We are also encouraged to continue to set out our “green bins” with food and compostable yard materials each week. Our family fills half a green bin each week with food scraps and other organics from the kitchen and bathroom. This way we keep the “yucky stuff” out of the landfill.

Second, you will be limited to one bag or container for garbage each week. I hope this will not be a problem for most households. We have two adults and two children in our home and each week for the last five years our garbage can has been only half-full while our green bin and two recycling containers are filled.

If you aren’t currently recycling or using your green bin, now is the time to start! Everything that you currently put at the curb for collection can still go to the curb for collection. It's just a matter of the container you use to put it at the curb! (If you need recycling containers, Staff at Pelham Town Hall would be pleased to assist you.)

There are exemptions for households with children in diapers and with individuals with medical conditions that result in extra waste.

What’s the half change? A new company – Emterra Environmental – recently won the seven-year collection contract. They decided that it would be more efficient to collect from some households with a Thursday collection on Tuesday. Generally, this change affects households from Victoria Avenue to Effingham Road and from Regional Road 20 to Welland Road. Unless you receive a separate notice by February 18, there will be no change to your collection day. (Please click HERE to see a map of the area that will change.)

With these improvements and the focus on increased diversion of waste to landfills, I hope we can start calling it “collection day” instead of “garbage day.”

For more information about the specific changes, please go to the Region's website by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What's Ahead for 2011?

As we start a new year, you might be wondering about some of the major undertakings that will be in store for Pelham in 2011.

2011 Capital & Operating Budgets:The draft Capital Budget – the budget for large, tangible items like roads, vehicles, and buildings – will be presented to General Committee on January 24 and is scheduled to be considered by Council on February 7. General Committee will review the 2011 Operating Budget and the Water and Sewer Budgets on February 28 with Council scheduled to consider them on March 7.

Strategic Plan:In early-February, Council will meet to develop a new Strategic Plan for the Town. With three new Councillors and three returning Councillors it makes sense to update the Town’s “Strat Plan” so that we can have a clear guide for not only the next four years but well beyond. Prior to the full-day planning session, Staff will provide an update on the successes of our existing Plan.

Major Infrastructure:The Town is working hard to finish some major infrastructure improvements. The good news is that Haist Street’s reconstruction, Downtown Fonthill’s revitalization, and the construction of Pelham Fire Station #2 will all be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2011. While the Fire Station work will continue during the winter, the majority of the road works cannot be completed until after the asphalt plants open up again in late-March / early-April. That doesn’t mean that the work will stop, however. Immediately prior to warmer spring weather, the contractors will complete the underground works – water and sewer hook-ups and storm sewer construction.

Recreational Facilities:As you will recall, the Recreational Facilities Committee's broad mandate includes reviewing the future of all Town recreational facilities -- arena, outdoor pool, sports fields, and parks. In early 2011, the Committee will issue a final report on a functional analysis, refined capital and operating costs, and a test of the business case for a community centre facility. It is expected that Council will then gather significant and informed public input about the report’s recommendations. I will push hard for affordable and workable solutions with a phased action plan for recreation.

East Fonthill Secondary Plan & Official Plan Update:The current schedule will have the Town reviewing, gathering public input, and completing both the East Fonthill Secondary Plan and the Town’s new Official Plan in 2011. You will hear more about these items in the Spring.

Of course, there is much other work to accomplish as well; Council and I look forward to working together with you on it.