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Garbage fee will apply to all businesses and apartments in Deer Lake

Deer Lake Coun. Kerry Jones presented a motion on waste management for businesses and apartments during Monday night’s council meeting.
Deer Lake Coun. Kerry Jones presented a motion on waste management for businesses and apartments during Monday night’s council meeting. - Diane Crocker

Businesses and apartment complexes, including homes with apartments, in Deer Lake will have to comply with the residential waste management regulations and pay a garbage fee of $165 per unit starting in January if they want the town to pick up their waste.

The decision on the handling of commercial waste was made during Monday night’s council meeting at the town office.

Not all members of council were involved in the decision.

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With four out of the seven council members either having business interests in the town or family members with business interests, that left only three members — Coun. Amanda Freake, Coun. Kerry Jones and Deputy Mayor Mike Goosney — to deal with the issue.

Because that meant council was without a quorum, it had to apply to the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment for permission for the three to make the decision.

With Mayor Dean Ball and councillors Dave Parsons, Myra Spence and Gordon Hancock out of the room, Jones first rescinded a motion that had been put forward during a special meeting held to discuss commercial waste management on Nov. 22.

That motion, had it been passed, would have resulted in the town discontinuing commercial waste pickup as of Jan. 1, 2019. Businesses would then be responsible for transporting waste to the transfer station in Hampden and for the payment of tipping fees charged by Western Regional Waste Management.

Under the motion, apartment complexes of any size would have to comply with residential waste regulations — including proper sorting, adhering to bag limits and paying the garbage fee per unit — if they wished to avail of residential waste curbside pickup.

If an owner of an apartment complex did not wish to participate in the residential waste curbside pickup, then the property owner would be responsible for transporting waste to the transfer station along with any tipping fees.

With a vote to rescind that motion, Jones then presented a new motion. As of Jan. 1, any businesses, including home-based businesses, wishing to have the town pick up their waste must comply with the residential regulations.

Businesses will be able to opt in or out of the waste pickup, but that will be a one-time decision and cannot be changed throughout the year.

Commercial buildings with multiple businesses must pay the garbage rate for each business and if they wish to opt out it must be for the whole building, not just the individual businesses.

Apartment complexes of any size, such as homes with apartments, duplexes, triplexes and apartment buildings, must also comply with the residential waste regulations and pay the fee per unit.

If they do not wish to participate in curbside pickup the property owner will be responsible for transporting waste to the transfer station and for any tipping fees.

While the three councillors voted to pass the motion, Freake said she did not agree with it 100 per cent.

With all the homework the three had done, Freake said, not doing any commercial collection felt a little more fair.

Freake said a house and granny flat are different than an apartment complex, and they should have been separated.

Still, she felt what was decided was the right thing.

“This is truly what we feel is best for Deer Lake.”

She said the three are committed to finding out what works and what doesn’t in 2019.

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