Solution needed for garbage collection
Wednesday, Oct 04, 2017 06:00 am
Four families on a private road in Turner Valley’s southwest may have to start hauling their garbage several hundred metres to the highway.
Town administration expressed concerns to council last month about barriers placed by residents of Cuffling Flats Cl. off of 16 Avenue, which prevent garbage trucks from turning around safely.
Barry Williamson, chief administrative officer, said an agreement was made with a property owner at the north of the subdivision several years ago for the garbage truck to access a gravel road that looped through the property. The acreage has since been sold and a pile of gravel now blocks the road at the lot’s south end. The property’s current owner, Mark Podhora, said he’s planning to incorporate that portion of the road into his fenced yard to prevent access from traffic and to protect his wellhead located mere centimeters from the road.
The Town has continued to collect garbage along the private road, but the garbage truck drivers have struggled to turn around safely, Williamson said.
“We’ve been trying to make it work but in the last year there’s been issues around some blockades down there making it very difficult to maneuver,” he said. “We continued after this other individual moved away, but upon further review and investigation we really shouldn’t be in a situation on private property without a proper agreement, road care, maneuverability and safety concerns addressed.”
Williamson said the Town should not be accessing private land without a formal agreement with the existing acreage owners.
“We would need some legal advice, some engineering advice and a number of things,” he said. “We were backing up into a private laneway, which we got permission to do, but it’s not conducive to good operation and safety.”
Operations and facilities manager Craig Beaton, who brought the concern to council last month, agrees.
“I’m not interested in putting our driver or equipment at risk,” he told council. “I would like to move garbage pickup up out to 16 Avenue where we can safely remove garbage.”
Williamson said the acreage owners could collectively put together a proposal toward a solution for the Town.
“The Town would look at it and maybe say, ‘This is what needs to be done to make it safer for everybody and useable,’” he said.
Cuffling Flats Cl. resident Noami Nadeau said she received a letter from the Town last spring informing her family that garbage collection would cease if the issue wasn’t resolved. She said she went to the town office and gave permission for the driver to turn in her driveway. Nadeau said she wasn’t aware that it was a problem after that.
“If there is an issue just let us know,” she said. “We are not that unreasonable.”
Naomi’s husband Steve said the garbage truck sometimes turned around on their lawn. He placed tree stumps along his property last month as a deterrent.
“I put the logs up along the road in the winter and spring when the ground is soggy to prevent the truck from driving on the lawn,” he said.
The Nadeaus don’t see the Town’s suggestion to have the garbage collected up the hill to 16 Avenue as a viable solution.
“16th Avenue is ridiculous and far,” Steve said. “What happens the day we get two or three feet of snow? If there is going to be ideas thrown around they should share the ideas.”
Podhora shares the same sentiments as his neighbour.
“It’s like asking someone from the city to walk two blocks to have their garbage collected,” he said.
Podhora suggested he and his neighbours get a large garbage bin and pay for private garbage removal, and receive a credit from the Town for no longer receiving the public service.