Norfolk will continue with bulky item pickup this spring

Norfolk council has agreed that the spring pickup of bulky household waste items will proceed as planned. Monte Sonnenberg/Delhi News Record jpg, DN

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Norfolk council has affirmed that the bulky item pickup slated for this spring will go ahead as scheduled.

“2020 is happening,” Mayor Kristal Chopp said Feb. 18 after council rejected a motion to return the pickup to a three-year rotation.

The pickup involves the collection of large household items that can’t be disposed of in the regular waste stream. Bulky items collected on a periodic basis include old furniture, appliances, bathroom fixtures and the like.

As a cost-cutting measure, Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus suggested putting the pickup back on a three-year cycle. Columbus reminded his colleagues that council was unaware of the budgetary challenges it faces when it increased the frequency to two years in 2019.

Columbus added a deferral to 2021 would give council time to study alternative collection strategies for large waste items.

Norfolk pays for the collection based on weight. Norfolk, Columbus said, pays for the disposal of a lot of rainwater when sofas, mattresses and other absorbent items catch precipitation before the contractor arrives.

While keeping with the approved collection schedule, council also directed Merissa Bokla, Norfolk’s waste management supervisor, to prepare a report on the county’s alternatives.

Ignoring the extraordinary waste-disposal needs of households is not an option. Norfolk’s public works department spends an estimated $100,000 a year retrieving large waste items from ditches and woodlots along the county’s concession roads.

The budget for the bulky pickup is folded into the county’s annual leaf and yard waste collection program. The estimate in the 2020 draft budget is $384,100. The actual cost of this year’s pickup will not be known until tenders are called.

Norfolk council discussed alternative approaches to the collection during its levy-supported budget deliberations at the end of January.

Jason Godby, Norfolk’s interim general manager of public works, suggested occasionally opening Norfolk’s waste transfer stations in Simcoe and South Walsingham to bulky items at the going flat rate of $16 per load.

Norfolk could also periodically advertise that – for a given month – residents in a specific ward can put bulky items curbside for eventual collection.

 

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