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Council weighing options on waste disposal

Olds town council received a presentation from Waste Management Inc. on Feb. 22 about the service they could offer to Olds residents if the firm is chosen to provide solid waste pickup to businesses and multi-family dwellings.

Olds town council received a presentation from Waste Management Inc. on Feb. 22 about the service they could offer to Olds residents if the firm is chosen to provide solid waste pickup to businesses and multi-family dwellings.

Currently, Waste Management provides pickup services for business customers and multi-family dwellings in Olds as a result of a temporary extension granted by council on the contract with the town that expired on Dec. 31 last year.

The extension was put in place to allow service to continue while the town looks at other options for pickup, including potentially staying with Waste Management. Currently, the town is entertaining proposals for service and Waste Management was the first company to present its plan to council for a contract.

Dan Rochette, municipal relations manager, told councillors that in addition to the five-year agreement that the town has had with the company, Waste Management has also provided a truck to Olds College to support various events at the college. Rochette said there could be revenue opportunities for the town if it went into a franchise agreement with the company for the “bagster,” a large bag that holds up to three cubic metres or 1,485 kilograms (3,300 pounds) of debris from home improvement projects or large cleanups.

“I think this represents a great option,” Larry Wright, the town's director of operations, told councillors. “I think this is one of many options.”

In an interview, Rochette said he wanted to update council on changes in the industry that have happened since the agreement was signed in 2005.

“Traditionally, it's been a garbage bin and a cardboard recycling bin (for pickup). Now you can put cardboard, paper, tin, glass, all your different recyclables in one container. There's organics collection, there's (construction and demolition) recycling, so there's a lot more (recycling going on),” he said.

Mayor Judy Dahl said the presentation was meant to educate councillors on the current state of the industry and to allow council to see the different options that are available.

Future presentations from other companies bidding for the contract will be forthcoming.

No decisions can be made at a Policies and Priorities meeting. Items that are discussed at such meetings are forwarded on to a regular council agenda by administration.