Poll: Ponoka News readers unwilling to pay more for increased garbage collection

When it comes to garbage collection, having weekly pickups shouldn’t have to bring additional costs.

Increased services should not necessarily mean additional costs.

That’s the key message from Ponoka News readers in last week’s poll: How much extra are you willing to pay for weekly garbage collection in the Town of Ponoka?

Of the 85 responses, 66 (77.65 per cent) opted for zero dollars, 14 (16.47 per cent) voted for $5 extra a month and five (5.88 per cent) opted for $8 per month. It should be noted that we did not have zero dollars as an option at first but it was added a little later from when the poll started.

This poll came on the heels of the week before this, which showed residents favoured weekly garbage collections.

Most comments spoke directly to not having to pay more. For some, it’s about having larger families.

Jo Lawes said she doesn’t know how families manage with bi-weekly collections. “I think we pay more than enough already, plus paying for recycling whether we use it or not. With talk of land taxes going up I think they should keep the cost the same.”

One resident, Joanna Margaret, has found a handy way to deal with the issue. “While I find bi-weekly pickup difficult with a large family, we’re also on a limited budget, and wouldn’t want to pay more (understanding, of course, that an extra pick up comes with extra cost).”

“We have great neighbours who often have extra room in their bins, and have told us we could add our extra garbage to their bins as needed,” said Margaret. “Problem solved.”

While Lynn Burdett admitted she isn’t a town resident, she struggles with the idea that residents can’t put compost in the yard waste bin.

“Really? They would rather have 100 per cent compostable matter go into the garbage and not in the green carts?” asked Burdett. “A real head scratcher from this many decades-old garden and kitchen waste composter.”

She pointed out that there’s two weeks where rotting food and garbage such as diapers sit in the garbage bin. “This just says smell, pest control issues, bio hazard to me.”

While most want to see weekly collections, there were some residents who suggest bi-weekly collection is enough.

Charlotte Matthies Boychuk feels residents should be able to make it work. “On average, we could probably go four weeks between pickups, and we eat at home every day (and not prepackaged foods, either).”

“Our biggest issue is the size of the bins and having to haul them down the slope of our front yard to the street. Back alley pickup is still our preference and we haven’t changed our thoughts on that since this new program commenced,” said Boychuck. “A recycling depot in town still would be a good option, as well. In our opinion, we are paying more for reduced service.”

Reader Graham Boyes looked at the vote results and said that this preference is not surprising. “Perhaps the service should stay as is, and those who find the grey bin too small can rent a second one.”

“This would satisfy the small portion of people who don’t mind paying more for increased service,” suggested Boyes. “And those families who don’t want to pay more wouldn’t have to.”

Ponoka News’ web polls are a way to engage with readers and get a feel for what residents want and do not represent an official petition or plebiscite. Check at www.ponokanews.com/web-poll for more polls. Up this week: Do you think municipal councillors should receive a severance package for years of service?

Editor’s note: Some comments have been edited for grammar.

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