By Jeff Bell, Victoria Times Colonist, February 10, 2012
Victoria’s garbage isn’t coming out of the backyard and onto the curbside, at least for the time being.
Councillors decided Thursday night to hold off on the change, but it is expected to be back on the council’s agenda next week.
The council was scheduled to consider choosing the cheapest of three options for pickup of garbage and organics (such as vegetable and meat scraps).
It emerged as the apparent favourite in a city survey and would cost $161 per household per year, with material collected at the curb every two weeks and receptacles left at the curb. The change was to be made in January next year.
The city’s survey was sent to 11,400 homes. A total of 4,316 responses came back, but questions were raised about the results at Thursday’s meeting.
John Burrows, president of Local 50 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said his analysis of the survey’s numbers differed from what was presented to the council. He had previously criticized the option that was being considered, saying it would lead to the loss of nine jobs.
Coun. Ben Isitt said the information from Burrows made deferring the vote on garbage and organics policy advisable.
“I think we need a more full discussion,” he said. “There is a lack of clarity in what the poll told us.”
The other options in the survey included alternating weekly backyard pickup for garbage and organics, with receptacles left at the curb and at a cost of $229 annually per household. There was also the option of collection from the backyard every two weeks, with receptacles left at the curb, at a cost of $183 per year.
Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin said arrangements can be made to continue backyard pickup for people who cannot move their garbage and organics containers to the curb, including seniors and the disabled.