Cabin owners riled by garbage fee

Barb Sweet bsweet@thetelegram.com
Published on August 8, 2014

Other cabin owners are voicing outrage at a scheme to charge for garbage pickup.

 

Eastern Waste Management recently circulated letters to residents on the Witless Bay Line about a $180-a-year fee for garbage pickup.

Cabin owners can’t opt out unless the cabin is uninhabitable and has no power.

Residents of Deer Park already have pickup service and Eastern Waste Management is planning on tapping all cabin communities in the region within the next year or so.

The Telegram reported Wednesday on a Witless Bay Line cabin owner who said he has been bringing a supermarket bag of garbage from his cabin home to St. John’s for decades and will continue to do so. A seasonal, weekend cottage user, he said he doesn’t want to leave garbage behind to attract rodents and wild animals.

Reacting to that story, two female senior citizens in St. John’s, who did not want to be named, said they haven’t paid their fee for the Salmonier Line yet and have the same concerns.

They objected to comments made by Ed Grant, chairman of the board that runs not-for-profit Eastern Waste Management. Grant told The Telegram the fee isn’t onerous and it’s not practical to allow cabin owners to opt out.

But the two seniors, one a cancer survivor whose only vacation is her cabin, said for pensioners on a fixed income, the fee is hard to take.

Also speaking out is Mount Pearl resident Garrett Peddle.

“It’s scandalous,” Peddle said Thursday, adding his cabin doesn’t have power or water and sewer, and is 2.5 miles down a dirt road on Witless Bay Line.

He plans not to pay the fee.

“All this is is another tax grab,” Peddle said, adding his family has had the cabin for 60 years.

He noted there’s power in the area, but he doesn’t want it and he should be able to say no to garbage pickup without paying for that.

Peddle and the two seniors noted they are paying for garbage pickup in metro and aren’t over their bag limits with the bit of garbage they bring home from the cabin. And, they argue, all the garbage is bound for the same place — Robin Hood Bay — so it’s like being double charged.

“Nobody wants garbage collection up there. It’s a summer cottage. Everybody is furious about it,” said Peddle, who routinely brings a bag of trash in from his cabin.

The two women who live on Salmonier Line say their garbage collection started in early July, but they still bring their trash into St. John’s and have roughly a shopping bag full.

“It might not be for this Mr. Grant, but $180 for people on a fixed income is a lot of money,” said one woman.

“I am paying my taxes in town to take it to Robin Hood Bay. Why would I pay another $180? … If I am out at the cabin for two days, they don’t collect it in (the city), so it’s still the same amount of garbage going to Robin Hood Bay by me.

“I am struggling now to pay for the necessities. … (The cabin) is my vacation. I’m not like these people promoting this, who are taking a vacation all over the world,” said the other woman.

“This appears to be a job creation project, that’s all.”

Both women remarked on the garbage strewn in ditches along Salmonier Line.

“Are they going to clean up the sides of the road, too? I don’t think so,” said one woman.

The other woman said she routinely picks up garbage other people discard on the side of the road while out walking, so the fee is especially galling.

“This program is not going to stop people from discarding garbage. People will continue to do it,” the senior said.

“(Eastern Waste Management) should be more concerned with people flicking bottles, cups, bags and everything out the car window.”

 

bsweet@thetelegram.com