CORNWALL, Ontario - City councillors decided Monday night to get back into offsetting the cost of dumping garbage collected at Cornwall apartment buildings and seniors residences.
City councillors reversed a decision made during budget deliberations in February to shelve a policy that paid a credit to those in Cornwall who haul waste to the municipal landfill - saving taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars by instead getting apartment owners and the like to foot the bill.
For years the city covered the cost of tipping fees for apartments and condos in Cornwall - the belief being that if the facility was considered a primary residence and not a commercial property, the cost to dispose of garbage would be covered by the city.
That all changed April 1, when the city eliminated the credit it paid out to agencies like Tomlinson Environmental, who collect garbage from large bins at condo complexes and apartments in Cornwall.
Steve Reynolds, the site manager at Tomlinson in Cornwall, said he has no choice but to pass the charges on to his customers.
"We had to put it on their account...each account was sent a letter to let them know - with the new rates," he said, adding the increases range from as little as $15 a month to as much as $600, depending on the size of the complex.
He said his customers aren't happy "but they're kind of caught between a rock and a hard place, because they have to still" get the waste removed.
Councillors decided Monday night to re-instate a waste credit system with the condition that payment is paid directly to the building owners.
The move could cost up to $90,000 this year - which has not been budgeted.
Property owners were crying foul, demanding to know why one apartment complex that has its garbage in a large bin that is collected by an outside firm has to pay, while a similar apartment across the street pays nothing because their tenants put the garbage out to the curb on their own.
If the owners remove the garbage bins, in favour of having tenants truck their waste out to the curb every week, there were fears residents may start seeing more apartment balconies littered with waste as people will have to store it somewhere, waiting for weekly pick-up.