Council votes to bolster recycling schedule for two rural HRM communities
Eastern Passage and Cow Bay to benefit from schedule change in 2021
January 16, 2020, 5:15 pm ASTLast Updated: January 16, 2020, 6:24 pm
Two rural communities are going to get more frequent recycling pickups.
On Tuesday, Halifax regional council voted to increase recycling pickup from every second week to every week in Eastern Passage and Cow Bay.
This change will take effect in July of 2021 when a new recycling contract begins.
Coun. Bill Karsten, who represents Eastern Passage and Dartmouth South, said he was “delighted” council passed the motion. He said Eastern Passage residents asked him about the change in recent years.
“I do believe it’s an incredibly important thing that they do have access to weekly recycling,” Karsten said in a phone interview.
Coun. David Hendsbee, who represents the neighbouring district of Preston, Chezzetcook and Eastern Shore, agrees.
“If they’re paying the same tax as the urban core, they should be getting the same service levels,” Hendsbee said during council’s discussion Tuesday afternoon.
While suburban and rural areas in HRM like Cow Bay pay slightly less in municipal taxes, Eastern Passage property owners pay the same as those in downtown Halifax.
Bradley Anguish, HRM’s transportation and public works director, explained to council how the municipality determines recycling pickup schedules based in part on population density.
Plans to increase the recycling pickup schedule in Eastern Passage have long been in the works.
“There’s been multiple attempts to do this,” Anguish told council.
Extending recycling to communities with biweekly schedules was deferred in the 2016-17 budget decisions, as well as in 2017-18 and in 2019-20 budget talks.
Amanda Bennett, who runs Sea Glass Art Nova Scotia in Eastern Passage, said the increased pickup won’t dramatically change how she recycles.
“It just means we have those blue bags kicking around the kitchen for a bit less time,” she said in an interview, laughing.
A staff report estimates that adding weekly recycling to the community of Eastern Passage will cost the municipality $111,000 annually.
While much of Halifax takes plastics and bottles to the curb weekly, some communities in HRM still have biweekly recycling schedules.
Windsor Junction, Fall River, Waverley,Fletchers Lake, North Preston, Fergusons Cove, Herring Cove, and a portion of the Hubley area all cart blue bags to the curb every other week.
Extending weekly recycling to other communities that currently have biweekly schedules would cost the city $372,000. Halifax operates all collection with a budget of just over $17 million annually.
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