OUR VIEW: Don’t make exceptions for garbage collection

Judging by comments from residents, an earlier announcement by the City of Grand Forks to increase garbage rates is not popular.

Judging by comments from residents around Grand Forks, an earlier announcement by the City of Grand Forks to increase garbage rates is not popular.

In September, city council approved a bylaw that saw the residential garbage collection service go to $10 per month from $9 per month. Costed over a full year, it would be $120 per year for each dwelling under the increase, as opposed to $108 per year under the old rate system.

Also, garbage collection was changed to one bag collected every two weeks with the green bin being collected every week.

The bylaw was in response to an increase in tipping fees and the aforementioned green bin food scraps recycling program instituted in the city.

Some residents are not happy and some have written the city expressing dissatisfaction at having to pay when they don’t put out as many items of garbage.

At a recent council meeting, Mayor Brian Taylor said that council should look at rewarding people who are seriously committed to the environment, although he and council did not make any decisions to change the current system – it merely said that it would examine what other areas are doing and maybe take some ideas.

Taylor said he didn’t want to give anyone false hope that they could opt out.

It’s understandable why people who are fully utilizing the green bin system and don’t put out as much refuse are not happy with an increase in rates but if the city is looking at rewarding people that don’t put out as much garbage, isn’t it opening up a can of worms?

At the same meeting, members of council expressed concerns about people taking advantage. What’s to keep someone from lying about the amount of garbage they put out? Will the city send someone out to check on every resident to ensure that they are putting out the said amount of garbage? The city doesn’t have a bylaw enforcement officer.

If there is a way for people to opt out of the current system, you can be certain many residents will try to take advantage.

– Grand Forks Gazette