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Take shrink-flation out to the dump

The City of Prince George is looking at moving a bi-weekly schedule for garbage collection. This is an obvious cost-saving measure for the city as it will have to spend half as much time/resources collecting garbage as it does now.

But, for homeowners, it’s classic shrinkflation … getting less for the same cost. At least it doesn’t appear that homeowners will get a break on garbage collection.

The rationale for moving to bi-weekly garbage collection is, according to a report that went to council,  is “waste diversion strategies (curbside recycling in non-bureaucratese) greatly reduce waste streams to the point that weekly garbage collection is no longer necessary.”

The report, however, has no figures to back this assertion/assumption up. A report on the actual impact of curbside recycling would be nice.

Take a look down your street on garbage collection day and see how many bins are not overflowing. It’s not a scientific study, but I suspect it will give you a good idea.

Plus, the report that went to council has no mention of how much the city will actually save.

“A change to bi-weekly curbside collection and associated budget implications requires additional planning and investment by the city and regional district,” reads the financial considerations section of the report. “This would ensure a change in schedule includes infrastructure necessary to process divertible materials is in place.”

In non-bureaucratese? Your guess is as good as mine, although why do I get the feeling it might actually cost more? It wouldn’t be shrink-flation but getting less for more is even worse.

I’ve seen several comments about how this will create even more bear problems in the city as homeowners will be keeping smelly garbage around even longer. It’s a valid concern.

Another concern is that regional transfer stations will become even more overrun than they are now. It’s been a problem at the Miworth transfer station for years. People from the city will drive out to Miworth rather than up to the landfill to avoid the tipping fee up the hill. Or worse, they simply drive out in the toolies somewhere and dump their garbage.

My favourite was the time someone couldn’t make to the Miworth transfer station and unloaded their garbage on the side of Otway Road, about 300 feet away from the transfer station.

The irony, or benefit if you’re the city, is dumping at regional transfers stations moves the cost of garbage collection to the regional district.

Here’s hoping the city takes some of these issues into consideration rather than simply shrink-flationing homeowners.


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