Mayor Stéphane Sarrazin got the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) to recognize public access to the landfill is an “essential service” after he raised the issue with Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, the regional medical health officer.
“We’re going to make sure it’s kept under control,” Sarrazin said during a phone interview today (April 23).
Landfills in Ontario are all closed to public access as part of the provincial government’s pandemic prevention strategy. While garbage collection is considered an essential service under the strategy, public access to landfills is not.
Soon after the Alfred landfill was closed to the public, township staff started getting reports of garbage found dumped in roadside ditches and woodland areas around the municipality. Sarrazin then lobbied the EOHU to allow public access to the landfill.
“It became apparent to us we were going to get more incidents of people dumping garbage in the ditches,” said Sarrazin.
Public access to the Alfred landfill will from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Tuesday. Bylaw officers will be there also to enforce the COVID-19 pandemic social distancing rule.
Residents bringing garbage for dumping will have to stay inside their vehicles when they arrive at the checkpoint. They will be asked to show their driver’s licence to confirm they live within the municipality. After that they will be able to drive to a designated site to dump their load and then leave.
The municipality will use the addresses on driver’s licences for mailing invoices.
Mayor Sarrazin also confirmed that the annual spring cleanup collection of large items will take place from May 4 to 8. Residents are advised to check the municipal website or the township’s Facebook page for details on the spring collection, including what items are not allowed for collection.