Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

MUSKOKA — All that take-out food means you’ll have to get up early to take out the trash.

The District of Muskoka, which is struggling with waste management, says it is overwhelmed with your stay-at-home collections.

But that’s not good enough to at least one resident in Gravenhurst.

Laurie Dixon writes in a letter to the editor (below) that’s “too early for many seniors.”

“This appears to be done for the convenience of the newly-appointed waste collection contractor — certainly not for town residents.”

Instead of hiring more workers to recoup costs from the tons of garbage, recyclables and compostable material they profit from, the district is asking home and business owners to litter the streets with un-godly sights for another hour a day.

“Not creating an inconvenience to the taxpayer,” she adds.

At the end of May they want your trash “a bit earlier” — by 7 a.m.

Thus leaving unsightly mess that often doesn’t get picked up till later in the day — or at all.

They also want 60 more minutes of your day stretching in to the evening, according to the district, as it plays catch-up.

They said in a release Friday: “We’re working closely with our contractor to find better and more efficient ways of getting your waste collected. We need your help!”

Do they ever. Three gas-guzzling trucks stopping at homes and businesses is the way they wastefully contract business.

“It has become necessary for crews to begin earlier as we are managing more garbage and recycling each week and more time is needed daily to complete routes. It is less busy in the early morning and drivers won’t need to compete with traffic and parked cars in our urban areas. An early start will also help on hot weather days – our drivers collect garbage manually and it’s cooler in the morning to get a head-start on their day.”

According to the district it’s not their fault.

They only pay the contractor with your taxes.

“We apologize for the continued waste collection delays and impacts some communities are experiencing. Our collection contractor, Waste Connections of Canada, continues to have labour challenges ultimately impacting the number of drivers and trucks on the road each day.”

They say residents may see a different collection vehicle picking up recyclables or materials going into one divided truck. This is being done to get recycling collected. From there, the material is taken to other locations for additional sorting.

If you experienced missed collection and to learn when crews are returning to your neighbourhood, visit www.muskokarecycles.ca or download our free Muskoka Recycles mobile app.

The district is hiring new contractor GFL Environmental to handle recycling, replacing Waste Connections of Canada, claiming it will save $400,000 — but cost many Muskokans jobs.

The district has had a lot of trouble on this issue since the start of the pandemic including a shortage of drives.


We have been told by the District of Muskoka to contact our councillor regarding this notice re complaint.

That the change was implemented due to increase in waste tonnage and that their drivers are not out in the heat of the day.

We are at the beginning of a run so that our garbage and recycle is picked up at a few minutes past 8 a.m.

We are now advised that this is going to occur at 7 a.m. meaning we will have to get up by 6 a.m. in order to ensure we do not miss the pick-up.

Many Gravenhurst residents are seniors and do not get up that early.

This appears to be done for the convenience of the newly-appointed waste collection contractor — certainly not for town residents.

If there is such a substantial increase in the tonnage of waste then more vehicles should be put to the task with shorter collection routes not creating an inconvenience to the taxpayer.

The district response was get a bear bin and put it out the night before.

And our town ward councillor Penny Varney’s response was to buy bins with lids.

Once again the taxpayer is not consulted or considered before the change is implemented.

Laurie Dixon, Gravenhurst

New waste trucks are appearing on Muskoka streets and roads as the district sorts out the mess of waste collection. Previously three separate trucks would stop at residences and businesses. The plan is to bring that down to two vehicles to save money and help the environment, but inconvenience homeowners writes Laurie Dixon of Gravenhurst.

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