Sunday, September 24, 2006

London City Council keeps talking trash

The stench of garbage is stronger than usual this week in London. Not only did Joe Fontana launch his "Leadership" campaign this weekend, promising a PLAN FOR THE PEOPLE, the favoured subject of city politicians has been trash. In addition to yet another front page story in the People's Press about the Toronto trash controversy, readers are informed that the rotating garbage schedule in London is once again under review. More committees, to discuss how to form committees to choose the people to sit on the committees are expected. For now, another public meeting because Gord Hume cares:

Residents may be offered more -- and, at the same time, less -- at an upcoming public meeting to debate changing London's garbage pickup system.

The "more" part: a return to weekly pick-up instead of the current six-day schedule.

The "less" part: limiting the number of bags to three instead of the current four and mandating a new, lower weight.

A hefty price-tag is the tricky trade-off in returning to a five-day collection schedule, Controller Gord Hume said yesterday.

"It is about a half-point increase on our tax rate in a time that we are trying to keep tax increases to a minimum. That is a significant chunk," Hume said.

[..] Despite the cost savings with the current system, Hume said it is an issue he hears about from residents. People who dislike the six-day collection cycle dislike it a lot, he said.

"They are quite vocal about it and I respect that," he said.
More but less, as taxpayers never gain because they have no real choice over how their money is spent. Remember, Gord Hume is a long time advocate of the debt-ridden John Labatt Centre and a supporter of a proposed multi-million dollar performing arts centre. Who needs another circus when you have city hall?

According to city staff reports, the change back to weekly pickup dates would cost Londoner's an additional $1.7 million plus another $700,000 to purchase new garbage trucks. What is not reported or advocated by the city is cutting money from the bread and circus budget to pay for essentials. As I said before, I'd be willing to pay a little extra for a little less waste:
Junk the JLC, scrap the creative cities project and I'll willingly pay ten bucks more for reliable garbage pickup and a few dollars more besides to fill the potholes. It's hard to be cultured when the raccoons are taking over in cahoots with provincial and local politicians.
And because you probably came here looking to find out what day of the week to put your garbage out, you can check the 'Waste Reduction & Conservation Calendar' here. The London Fog cannot be held responsible if you are confused by the zone map and miss garbage day yet again. Blame the city. It's their site and your money that is paying for it.