In partnership with its Area Municipalities, the District of Muskoka is developing a Waste Management Strategy to discover new ways to reduce the amount of waste we produce through further reduction, reusing, recycling, and composting.
As part of the engagement process, a series of Community Consultation Sessions are being held throughout the District to provide detailed information on our current integrated waste management system and obtain feedback on various alternatives for the future.
On Thursday, September 12, 2019, our director and Sustainability Chair Carole Anne Simpson attended the session held for the Town of Gravenhurst. While we applaud the stewardship efforts of the District to become more responsible earth citizens, part of the strategy will likely result in the removal of the bins placed strategically in places where there is no curbside waste collection. That means that the bins at the Hewitt St. parking lot would be removed. According to the District officials, this stragedy has failed for several reasons, including:
- Users have not complied with the content rules – this is supposed to be household garbage only and for Water Access Only (WAO) residents. Over time this collection system has been greatly used and abused. New and existing cottagers continue to throw in and throw beside the bins, non-household waste (e.g. furniture, tires, mattresses, bbqs, appliances, windows, wood etc.) Additionally it is common for contractors and other Gravenhurst citizens to dump their non-compliant waste here, as well.
- Although ‘acceptable contents’ for disposal is adequately described and marked on the recycling bins, users continue to ignore the instructions and dump whatever in both bins with total disregard to the instructions. This misusage of the bins (as described in items 1 and 2) has resulted in extra time and charges for sorting and dumping the non-compliant items.
- In addition to the extra time and cost involved in fixing the misuse of our bin waste collection system, the very contents of the waste thrown in or left beside the bins may have been toxic! This is a real concern of the District that irresponsible waste disposal has and will continue to contaminate the surrounding soil and that will eventually leach into the water table. It is therefore in the District’s opinion a necessary step to stop this dangerous practise by removing the bins so that better control of toxins will be managed at designated larger sites.
- Unfortunately there were no alternatives given to using the bins at the information session. Does this mean we have to take our garbage home for instance? The District has no ready answers but wants our input via a survey as to our needs and usage of the bins.
Unfortunately there were no alternatives given to using the bins at the information session. Does this mean we have to take our garbage home for instance? The District has no ready answers but wants our input via a survey as to our needs and usage of the bins.
Please visit the District of Muskoka’s online engagement platform – www.engagemuskoka.ca and participate in our “Waste Matters” Survey.
Tell us what you think about the future of waste management in Muskoka.
For a physical copy of the survey to complete by hand, please contact us at 705.645.6764 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We strongly urge all those using the bins at Hewitt St (we know of no others used by our membership) to complete the Survey!!!
We are in a wait-and-see position for the present but rest assured that the GSLRA Executive is very aware of this issue and plans to act in the best interest of our membership, accordingly.