Costco opening disrupts garbage collection

Graphic by Fani Hsieh
Graphic by Fani Hsieh

Garbage collection in the Waterloo Region was recently delayed as a result of the grand opening of the new Costco store in Waterloo.

Costco’s grand opening took place on the same day that many residents in Waterloo were to have their garbage collected.

The high volume of people coming into the Costco parking lot, which happens to be right across the street from the entrance to the landfill, caused traffic and backups along Erb Street.

“There were a lot of excited residents to come out and see the new facility when it opened,” said Cari Howard, project manager of Waste Management Programs.

“That happened to coincide with the time that our trucks normally come to drop off their first round of waste.”

With the first round of waste drop-off completely delayed, the rest of the day’s pick-ups were thrown off schedule.

“The trucks were delayed because of the traffic and that just had a snowball effect throughout the day. There ended up being couple of neighbourhoods that had their garbage delayed,” she said.

The residents’ garbage that was not collected on that day was picked up the following morning, and if still not collected, residents were asked to contact waste management to ensure timely pick-up.

Following the bulk retailer’s initial opening morning, there have been no other major delays for waste removal.

The Region is also looking into alternate plans and routes for garbage trucks to take if traffic spikes again.

The routes will allow the trucks to enter from a different location, if necessary.

Announcements of the delay were posted on the Region’s website as well as on all social media accounts.

“We, of course, issued a press release which was picked up in the local news as well,” said Howard.

“I think it was just a one-time occurrence. Certainly there’s been more traffic, but the roundabouts keep everything moving.”

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