It's about time for the Town to practice what it preaches.
That's the opinion of several frustrated taxpayers who have called The Neepawa Press this past week following the release of the Town's proposed Garbage Bylaw set for 2014-16.
The new bylaw will see residents' garbage fees increased by about $25 per year – from $75 to $100 – a proposition that has received mixed reaction from taxpayers.
The bylaw also comes with a message to residents to focus on increasing recycling outputs.
For Neepawa resident Merv Dagg, the increase is minimal. It's the efforts and potential income being wasted by the Town's contracted garbage collection that concerns him.
"When you stretch out that increase over the amount of time garbage is collected in a year, the increase is very small," Dagg said. "My problem is that people are taking the time to do their recycling, and the Town could use the money (they get back from collecting recyclable materials), but it's getting thrown in the back of the garbage truck."
To prove his point, Dagg kept track of his garbage and recycling collection last week.
On Monday, recycling pickup day, Dagg put out eight bags/boxes full of recycling material.
Nothing was picked up.
Tuesday went by, and again the same issue. Dagg called the Public Works and requested the Town contact its contracted garbage and recycling collectors regarding the issue.
He also called the Town office Wednesday, and was told his concerns would be passed on to the Town's engineering supervisor.
Wednesday morning came by with no pickup or call back from the Town.
Then came Thursday, garbage pickup day, when Dagg frustratingly watched as his recycling was thrown in the back of a garbage truck, along with his household garbage.
"I hate seeing perfectly good recyclables going into a garbage truck. There's a not a tremendous amount of work needed to recycle, but it does take time," Dagg said. "Somebody needs to brush up the guy with the contract."
Similar complaints were made by business owners earlier this year during meetings held by the Chamber of Commerce. At that time, the Town said it had talked to its contracted collectors about the issue.
However, residents say the issue has continued.
"It's a complaint we hear occasionally. It's best to bring it to my attention or to engineering supervisor Denis (Saquet), and we will deal with it," Mayor Ken Waddell said of the concerns.
The Mayor added the Town will continue to look into the issue, and he hopes these concerns don't dissuade residents from continuing to recycle, as it is one of the major focusses in the Town's proposed Garbage Bylaw for 2014-16.
"The major goal (of the bylaw) is to reduce the $165,000 deficit (in collection services)," Waddell noted. "The second goal is to reduce the garbage and increase the recycling, because it does bring revenue back to the Town."