Inquiry submitted at Council by Councillor Kavanagh:
That staff investigate and give a written public response to explain the reasons for repeated delays in recycling and waste collection in this past few months in the West end, Zone 1, with a view to overcome these obstacles. Bay Ward residents have had their curbside collection left out for over five days without explanation. We need to strive to retain our previous record for prompt, regular collection service.
Response tabled at the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management ( SCEPWWM ) On November 19th 2019.
On Tuesday, September 17th, 2019, staff provided a presentation to the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water, and Waste Management (SCEPWWM) regarding how staff were addressing the performance issues with the current waste collection contractor for Zone 1 residential waste collection. It is noted that staff has been strictly enforcing the standard of performance and issued Liquidated Damages where the standard has not been met. Since the contract was initiated in 2012, the Liquidated Damages for Zone 1 have totaled approximately $213,000. Beyond enforcing the provisions of the contract, staff has also solicited support from both the In-House Collections Group and Miller Waste Systems to minimize service disruptions in the affected area and will continue to do so for the remainder of the contract, as required, to ensure service continuity for residents.
In a letter from Waste Management Inc. (WMI) to City senior management dated September 30th, 2019, WMI indicated that the following factors have caused or contributed to repeated delays in recycling and waste collection in the city’s west-end:
- A June 15th fire which resulted in the loss of eight (8) waste collection vehicles;
- D/Z driver and technician shortage in the Ottawa area; and
- Other miscellaneous operational challenges.
As directed by the Committee, staff will be conducting an in-depth review of the current situation in Zone 1, including the causes of the performance issues, to be incorporated in a ‘lessons learned’ report that will inform the next Request for Proposal (RFP) for residential waste collections services, as well as Phase 2 of the City’s Solid Waste Master Plan.
In the interim, staff will continue to actively manage and enforce performance of the contract using the measures outlined in the presentation to SCEPWWM, as well as any other measures that may become available and/or be appropriate until such time as collection services for Zone 1 are transitioned to Miller Waste Systems.
Mitigation Plan since September 2019
- Former Solid Waste staff are being temporarily seconded from Roads, Parks, and Water Services to support collection efforts
- Parks Mini-Packer units are being redeployed to assist with curbside recycling and organics collection
- City has secured the services of three (3) additional waste collection vehicles from a private waste management company until mid/late October
- Discussions with senior management from Miller Waste Systems are underway to examine the feasibility of expediating the transition period.