Town neglects to take out the trash

Dear editor,

A recent influx of posts to circulate the “walls” of many has aggravated a dirty issue that I feel the Town of Fort Frances is due to clean up.

The midnight dumping of garbage in our community is an increasing burden and council’s negligence to incentivize people to properly dispose of their surplus garbage and bulky items has caused the issue to be dumped on small business owners.

Neighbouring communities have programs and incentives in place to encourage residents to take out the trash the right way. Namely, the City of Dryden only charges users of the local landfill based on the actual amount of waste they have to drop off; Drydenites don’t pay $18 to offload one bag of trash. The City of Thunder bay also collects two receptacles of garbage weekly (in addition to their recyclables) so as to prevent the occasional extra unit of garbage from being deposited in the nearest private dumpster bin. The Town of Emo doesn’t actually charge any fees to proven residents for a trip to the dump – isn’t that what taxes are for?

Looking back at the policy that the Town of Fort Frances offers begs the question: “are we too cheap to keep our community clean?”

I feel that I speak not only for myself when I say that the Town of Fort Frances has turned a blind eye to the fact that they have created policy that encourages residents to dump their junk wherever they see fit. There is clearly an issue when locks are being cut off of privately owned dumpsters and old furniture is appearing in the ditches of back country roads just so that someone can save themselves the tipping fee.

In a time when local businesses are already struggling just to keep their doors open, it isn’t fair for them to be flipping the bill to have someone else’s rubbish hauled away. I understand that our tax dollars are being pulled in every direction, but a matter as basic as sanitation shouldn’t be left to go by the wayside.

It’s time to get on the same level as our municipal peers, and keep our home litter-free.

Mitchell Turcotte

Editor’s note: For the sake of fair comparison, the garbage policies of the above municipalities are: Dryden charges $2.50- $5 per bag at their landfill for small loads of bagged garbage. Large loads and larger items such as furniture fall under the bulk rate, which starts with a minimum tipping fee of $20 and $110 per tonne, or a minimum of $30 and $300 per tonne for mixed loads containing recyclables. Although there are no weekly limits, they are required to tag every bag at $2.50 per bag for curbside pick-up, with a maximum weight of 15 kg per bag. Thunder Bay and Emo both have a curbside cap of two receptacles per household. Thunder Bay will allow a third if tagged with a $2 tag, with each receptacle limited to 18 kg. Anything over the bag limit will not be collected. The Thunder Bay landfill charges a flat fee of $10 up to 120 kg, and $81.64 per tonne over that. The Emo landfill is largely free for Emo residents, with an itemized fee schedule – such as $20 per bag or $75 per trailer – for non-residents and commercial operators.

For comparison, Fort Frances allows one free receptacle per week, with no bag limits, but with the remainder tagged and limited to 18 kg per bag. The landfill charges a minimum tipping fee of $18 and $72.80 per tonne. All information has been gathered from municipal websites. – Megan Walchuk