Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Council Should Walk Slowly Toward Garbage Bag Tag Price Increases

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I understand that Meaford Council is evaluating a plan to gradually move our garbage bag tag system into a full cost recovery program ($4.50 per bag). Until such a time as everything is recyclable, ethically disposable, or more controllable by the end-user, it is important to leave the price as is ($3.00 per bag).

We know that there is a financial shortfall between bag tag revenues and the higher cost of the Miller Waste disposal service. Let’s continue to pay that difference through our taxes until such a time as manufacturers catch up with the residential sector with respect to waste reduction and diversion.

The residential sector carries the lion’s share of the effort being made to address the 6 Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Rot & Recycle. Talking to residents at the Meaford Farmers’ Market I’ve heard first-hand how hard folks are trying to do their bit to reduce their waste. Ontario residents currently average a 47% diversion rate. I’m sure that the Municipality’s residential sector’s diversion rate is significantly higher than the provincial average. It is dramatically higher than the manufacturing sector.

There are so many positive strategies that can still be developed to further inspire residents to improve waste reduction and diversion. An increase in the garbage bag tag cost isn’t one of them. A price increase would feel like residents are being penalized for doing a good job, while the chief garbage-making manufacturers continue on their merry and irresponsible way.

Respectfully submitted,

Lindy Iversen, Meaford

Editor’s note: An interesting note for readers to keep in mind is that while the current cost of bag tags is $3.00, the full cost is roughly $4.50 per bag, the balance of which we still pay but through property taxes. So any way we cut it, we’re paying $4.50 per bag now; increasing the bag tag would remove the balance of the cost from general tax revenue. That said, I agree with the letter writer – Meaford has work to do to improve diversion options and abilities for residents before any drastic increase to the cost of bag tags could be justified.

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