Coun. Gordy Robson opposed city-run garbage pickup. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge residents dump city-run garbage collection

Only 42 per cent of those voted were willing to pay $270 a year

The residents of Maple Ridge have trashed the proposal for city-wide garbage collection.

The plebiscite that was conducted in tandem with the Oct. 20 civic election asked people if they would be willing to pay $270 annually for curbside pickup by a municipally run system.

But only 8,431 people said they’d be willing to do that.

When considered against the 20,123 people who voted, that’s still only a 42-per-cent vote in favour.

When considered against a city-wide total of approximately 60,000 eligible voters, only about 14 per cent were in favour of a city-run garbage and green waste collection system.

Given such results, Coun. Bob Masse said it’s time to take the entire issue out to the curbside and forget about any city-wide garbage pickup in Maple Ridge, for a while.

“I don’t think this is a question that should be put to the public in a hurry,” Masse said Tuesday.

Masse, who did not seek re-election, said the new council will have enough on its plate than to start debating the garbage issue again.

Masse, however, favoured having a city-wide system and said the $270 figure could have been lower. And with Maple Ridge sticking with a private garbage-hauling system, the city has no control over where that garbage is taken when its hauled away, he added.

“We’re still the one municipality that doesn’t have flow control.”

One good thing that’s resulted from the debate is that the different companies now all pick up garbage on the same day, reducing the number of days that cans are on the street, which has reduced the number of garbage-eating bears that have been shot.

“What I don’t like is we’re still going to have a lot more diesel trucks going up streets,” Masse said.

Couns. Corisa Bell, who also did not seek re-election, and Masse had pushed to get the garbage question resolved during the last council. The issue of a single, city-run collection trash pickup service has been controversial and divisive, Bell said earlier.

Garbage pickup was a top issue in the 2011 and 2014 elections, she added.

All residents throughout Maple Ridge were able to vote, although the service only would have been available in the urban areas, where recycling is currently collected at curbside.

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