Dysart takes trash in-house
|By Joseph Quigley - Staff Writer | June 12, 2019
Dysart et al is bringing its landfill maintenance in-house through a series of moves staff said will improve service levels for a similar or reduced cost.
The municipality terminated its contract with Schwandt Aggregate for services at the Harcourt landfill May 3 due to non-compliance. This follows the municipality taking steps in April to take over maintenance at the Haliburton landfill.
Director of public works Rob Camelon said staff have been planning to do all landfill work internally after another round of contracts expired in 2020. But staff accelerated the timeline at Haliburton and Harcourt after issues with contractors.
“It’s just something we feel we could manage better in-house. Ultimately, it’s our liability anyways,” Camelon said. “We just feel buying our own equipment and hiring our own staff, whenever they’re not working on landfills, we can always use them on the road side of things.”
Schwandt Aggregate managed the Harcourt landfill for several years. Camelon said the contractor was recently not doing enough cover work, which involves moving soil over new deposits of waste.
“That just wasn’t getting done,” Camelon said. “We take our landfills pretty seriously and to keep it in the good graces of the Ministry (of Environment, Conservation and Parks), we decided to take it into in-house.”
However, Camelon said the two sides mutually ended the agreement on good terms. The contractor could not be reached for comment before press time.
Dysart took over the Haliburton landfill after the years-long contractor there declined to take on the work. Council subsequently directed staff to take steps to take on the maintenance there.
Schwandt Aggregate has also provided winter maintenance in the Harcourt area. But public works recommended the work be done internally as well, requiring the purchase of a heavy-duty snow plow.
Staff are also exploring whether the work can be done by county or Highlands East municipal plows. For the municipality’s other contracted landfill sites in Kennisis Lake and West Guilford, the plan is not to renew when the contracts expire in 2020.