Second garbage drop-off centre opens in Whitby as town staff strike continues

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Published October 19, 2023 at 11:27 am

Whitby has opened its second garbage drop-off centre  to offset the impacts of the ongoing town staff strike.

Town workers usually pick up resident’s garbage at their homes every week, but this service has been suspended since Oct. 14. The town and CUPE Local 53 had been in negotiations since March. However, after 15 days of discussions, some with a provincial conciliator, the parties could not come to terms.

The town wants to be able to schedule workers with what they’ve called “flexibility” and have offered a 9.5 per cent pay increase to compensate. The union has rejected the proposal largely based on the scheduling components with President Robert Radford saying, “This will have a dramatic impact on families and their quality of life.”

As such the union voted to strike. Most town services, including garbage, have been suspended. The town did have a contingency plan for some services though including two garbage drop-off locations for residents and local businesses.

The first, in the Iroquois Park Sports Centre parking lot at 500 Victoria St. W. will open on Oct. 18. In order to leave their garbage, residents and businesses must live or operate in Whitby and provide proof of their address. The centre will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On Oct. 19, the town announced the second centre was set to open at 10 a.m. This one will sit at the McKinney Centre at 222 McKinney Dr. It’s open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. but closes from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. due to school dismissal time.  It is also open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

third centre may open if the community demands are not met by the two already open. The individual bag limit has increased from four bags to six. The town has asked residents to combine their usual wet garbage and compost bins into the same bags.

The centre will not accept any yard waste (leaves, sticks, etc.), construction materials (bricks, concrete, etc.), electronics (old computers, phones, etc.) oversized items (couches, toilets, etc.) or hazardous materials.

Recycling is collected by the Region of Durham and is not impacted by the strike.

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