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Cape Breton Regional Municipality looks at contracting out garbage and recycling services

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is looking at what to do with the city’s waste.

Cape Breton’s solid waste site on Spar Road in Sydney, N.S. has been filled with wooded debris from post-tropical storm Fiona for months, and an agreement to truck some of its trash to Guysborough ends in 2025.

The municipality is looking for contractors to take over the city's waste management.

“Our solid waste staff is certainly indicating that perhaps we're getting close. I don't really know what close means, whether we're five years away and that’s a concern or if we're five months away and that's a bigger concern, so I think we're getting there,” said Cyril MacDonald, CBRM Councillor.

Christina Lamey, a CBRM spokesperson, said the municipality is working on clearing out some of the Fiona debris from the landfill.

“As time passed we realized that debris cannot be allowed to sit there. It has combustible properties and has to be moved, so that process is happening and that debris is being moved elsewhere,” Lamey said.

Capacity at the landfill is not just an annual concern.

“No matter how you look at it, waste disposal is very expensive to the taxpayer, it’s a huge cost. The more stuff we produce and need to find ways to dispose of it, the more cost that gets carried by the taxpayer to do so,” said Lamey

Because of waste management, CBRM is currently stuck with a $2 million shortfall in its operating budget.

One of the ways to make up some money is adding tipping fees at the landfill site, which requires residents to pay for dumping trash.

“I look at it from two sides… I’ve heard from residents who just said I won't take it there and illegal dumping will only increase,” said MacDonald.

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