Garbage Collection Survey Clarified

Robert Thomas

The just released solid waste collection study has turned some heads when it comes to who it actually surveyed and who was exempted from it, but you can still be heard.

“It was designed to survey those who had made the transition,” said Craig Hemingway, Communications Director for the City of Moose Jaw. 

As such, the survey did not ask questions from those living in Zone 3 Sunningdale, nor those in homes in the VLA and West Heath, where they always had curbside collection.  The survey also did not take in the ten percent of homes identified as “challenged” - due to physical restrictions making curbside collection difficult - in Zones 1 – 4 as those homes had never transitioned.

After MJ Independent ran it's story indicating Zone 3 or Sunningdale was part of the survey Hemingway wanted to clarify Sunningdale or, Zone 3 was not included in the survey. 

In order to not confuse readers and inflame what has been emotional issue, the MJ Independent will remove the references from the story.

In the survey documentation it was always stated the survey would include 200 homes who had recently transitioned to curbside in Zones 1-4.

Asked if it might be more correct to state the survey was not Zones 1 – 4 but actually Zones 1, 2 and 4, Hemingway stated he could see where confusion came into play. "We always stated it would be for those who transitioned over,” he stated, adding “generally speaking those surveyed were in zones one, two and four.”

Asked about the criteria and if it came into play in the case of resident Michel Labonte, who appeared at Council asking why he was eliminated from participating in the survey, Hemingway said it did. As promised at Council, the survey firm Insightrix was contacted and confirmed the fact Labonte had been contacted but eliminated from participation in the survey due to it's criteria.

Labonte lives in Zone 4 but once he said his garbage collection was still in the back lane he was eliminated from participation by the survey’s criteria. The survey was looking residents in Zone 4 who had converted to curbside not residents who hadn't.

Asked if Labonte had lived in nearby Zone 5, would the telephone interview have continued, Hemingway said it would have, as Lanonte would have met the criteria for Zones 5-8 as he had not transitioned to curb side.

Read: Complaints that Survey Was "One-sided"

In another case, MJ Independent was approached by a resident of Zone 3 or Sunningdale, asking why he was not contacted by the telephone survey, as his taxes and garbage rates would be impacted by any decision and how could he be heard?

Hemingway stated anyone who would like to have their say are still welcome to contact any member of Council. All input as well as the survey will now be taken into consideration by Council in deciding what to do when it comes to curbside collection.

In a previous podcast he spoke about how to be heard by Council and made an MJ Independent story – READ: How Can You Be Heard

The telephone survey was conducted February 7 – 15 and asked 200 residents who had transitioned to curbside collection  in Zones 1 -4 and 200 residents in Zones 5-8 who had not transitioned to curbside collection their opinions on curb side collection. 

In 2017, transitioning to curbside collection was a highly controversial and emotional issue with many Council meetings spent debating it. In the end, Council decided not to expand the service at that time. On January 13th at a meeting of Budget Committee an attempt was made to expand the service city wide, which led to a debate and the resultant telephone survey. 

Read More: Curbside Back on the Agenda

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