Ponoka residents will soon be dealing with a new garbage contractor and an expanded compost collection system. File photo

Ponoka will save $430,000 with change to new waste contractor

Transition to take place with CanPak for Jan. 1, contract includes two bins

Ponoka residents will see increased waste disposal service for less cost come the new year.

CanPak Environmental’s bid for the three-year waste and recycling contract starting on Jan. 1 was approved by town council at its Nov. 13 meeting.

Coming in at just over $1.1 million, CanPak was the lowest of the three bids and will slash the overall cost of the service by more than $430,000. The contract includes an option for a two-year extension.

Proposals received for the three year contract included two waste bins and two year extension option:

CanPak Environmental Services Inc. – $1,109,085.90; Green for Life (GFL) — $1,540,314.89; Collective Waste Solutions – $1,672,919.91.

Along with maintaining the present level of garbage collection, the new contract will continue with year-round recycling in addition to full organic compost collection.

So, aside from just yard waste, the ‘green bin’ will allow kitchen waste — such as meat, fruits, vegetables, pasta, dairy — along with pet waste. Compost will be collected weekly between May and October, then every two weeks the rest of the year.

“We really wanted to keep what we have and introduce a new full organic composting program,” explained Chris McKenna, town operations manager.

He added the bids were ranked based upon various criteria then given an overall score, with the financial implications being given the most weight at 40 per cent.

“The cost has come down a lot from the previous contract, so it was a good idea to go for a request for proposal,” McKenna noted.

The expiring GFL contract cost the town about $526,000 plus an estimated $200,000 in processing costs in 2018, whereas the average annual cost for the new contract will be just over $396,000.

Coun. Clayton Nelson applauded McKenna for the work and for securing a contract.

“I think this is the program that our town deserves. I’m super happy that you put in the effort, listened to the advice from the community, did all of the extra leg work on this. This is a job well done,” he said.

The lone question to be answered is about the two bins that each residence presently has, something that had Mayor Rick Bonnett worried something similar may happen as when the bins were introduced nearly three years ago.

“We had lots of grief with these carts the last time. People don’t like change so how will this transition take place? That’s going to be important,” he noted.

McKenna explained that the present bins are owned by GFL and that the new contract includes two new bins for each residence.

However, whether GFL takes back their bins or if the two companies come to a deal on the bins, there will be a smooth transition during the switch.

McKenna added the town will be communicating with residents about the changes.


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