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Council supports getting out of the way of volunteers’ efforts

Councillors at Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting supported stepping out of the way of volunteers fundraising for community projects through electronic waste collection days.

Discusson on installing collection bins at County waste sites was held in May (see below). Instead, councillors agreed they should assist the volunteer groups by advertising the fundraising events on the municipal website.

The final decision will come before council later this month.

MAY 11 –

e-waste day at PECICounty charity organizations have concern that if the County adds electronic waste bins to transfer sites, it will harm local fundraising efforts.

Councillor Gordon Fox raised the issue at Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting because Quinte Waste Solutions no longer provides the service in the County.

Phil St-Jean, Kinsmen Club past-president noted the club raised more than $4,500 in their share of proceeds from electronic waste collection days at the Picton Home Hardware parking lot. He is concerned the County installing bins could be competition that takes funds from charities and requested the municipality set aside their plan, which he says duplicates a service already provided free of charge to the community.

“Prince Edward County service clubs, schools, not-for-profits and charitable organizations have been providing this worthwhile service to our community for over seven years,” said St-Jean. “Our groups receive payment for our services through the Ontario Electronics Stewardship on a per tonne processed basis, approximately $220/tonne. Picton Kinsmen, Sonrise Christian Academy, the Prince Edward County Hospital Foundation, PECI Environmental Studies and Students’ Council have all benefited from the funds we raise by the collection and sale of waste electronics and by virtue of our hard work, so does the greater community.”

Robert McAuley, the County’s Commissioner of Engineering, Development and Works said he’s concerned that if the County didn’t offer the service no longer provided by Quinte Waste Solutions, people might return to putting their electronics in the garbage.

Volunteer Linda Ryan also requests the County change its plan.

Ryan started the program in the spring of 2009, as the County’s Waste Supervisor, with the co-operation of Picton Home Hardware. She said that by that fall, the County stopped accepting electronics waste at landfill sites.

Currently, eight to 10 events are held per year. As well, PECI and Wellington Lions host events.

“Home Hardware (Adam Busscher) is an avid and strong supporter of our hospital and started to hold two or three events with his staff a year and raised over $30,000 to date,” said Ryan.

Ryan said the County’s sites are staffed with just one or two attendants who already have a full workload and are not allowed to lift more than 40 pounds.

“They have to tip fees, watch and sort recycling, assist residents, ensure no hazardous material is being left and that the rules and regulations are being followed. Who will be assisting residents unload 25 to 300 pound televisions? It takes four strong volunteers to lift the 303 pound TV. One injured worker is not worth $135 per tonne.”

She noted that while tire drop off is free every Saturday at most landfills, she still sees them in the ditches.

“Go figure. The people who illegally dump are going to regardless of whether it’s free, convenient or not. It is what it is. We are already seeing a decline in the amount of waste we collect due to the fact the old stuff has been properly recycled and there is less out there.”

No decision was made by council as it was on the agenda as a discussion item.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Paul Cole says:

    Some good news for a change…

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