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LETTER: Bins in parks a garbage idea ... especially in winter

'The bins are ill-suited for winter conditions as ice and snow make it difficult to access, service and replace the trash bags,' laments reader
Reader R. Peter Weedon feels that the city needs to take a closer look at the rectangular trash bins placed in public places around the city.

OrilliaMatters welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected] or via the website. Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is regarding rectangular trash bins in areas such as Couchiching Park.

The City of Orillia has permitted Creative Outdoor Advertising, a for-profit advertising outfit, to place a few large metal rubbish bins (‘bins”) in public places including Couchiching Park.

Interested businesses and service providers (realtors, mortgage brokers, retailers, etc.) pay about $1,300 per year to have their advertisements displayed on the ‘traffic side’ of the bins.

There are about eight such bins located along the Port of Orillia waterfront boardwalk where foot traffic is high. Unfortunately, the bins are ill-suited for winter conditions as ice and snow make it difficult to access, service and replace the trash bags.

It appears city staff have boarded the bins up so no trash can be deposited during the long winter period. To address the demand for trash receptacles year-round, bag-lined wire baskets have been placed close by and are serviced regularly. Some park visitors are not sympathetic to the unusable bins during the winter and, it seems in protest, they leave their trash — including dog poop bags, pizza boxes and used tissues, etc. — on or at the foot of the bins. City staff now have the additional task of routine individual item winter clean-up around the bins.

Perhaps our mayor with the assistance of senior city staff will review the problem of non-functioning bins in the winter.

Do park visitors really want to see local advertisements on these bins, many regard as eyesores? Does the rent collected from the bins offset the additional time and labour to clean up trash discarded by disgruntled park users? Should putting the bins in winter storage be considered? Let’s see how Mayor McIsaac fixes the problem.

R. Peter Weedon