FR EE KITCHENER’S ORIGINAL COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SCIENCE UNDER THE East Edition BIG TOP! kitchenercitizen.com New Interactive Exhibit Enjoy over 20 activities! Open until May 5 Circulation 30,000 • Volume 4, Issue 9 • Thursday, March 14, 2013 519-748-1914 t waterlooregionmuseum.com WILL SAVE $200,000 ANNUALLY Only new homeowners get free blue boxes from Region of Waterloo Waste Management BY HELEN HALL I n the last five years, the Region of Waterloo has given away about 250,000 free blue recycling boxes. That’s almost 1,000 blue boxes a week, and it was a cost that “just wasn’t sustainable,” says Waste Management Program Manager Cari Rastas Howard. Regional council voted to trim some services provided by its Waste Management division during the 2013 budget deliberations. New homeowners can still get a free blue box, but replacement boxes must now be purchased by homeowners. The region will not sell blue boxes at the landfill. They can be purchased at most hardware stores, as well as many other retail stores in the region. Howard said while some residents are disappointed that they can’t get free replacement boxes, others are “blown away” at the number that were picked up free each year. There are about 150,000 individual curbside garbage stops in Waterloo Region. Data from the last five years indicates that 50,000 free replacement boxes were picked up each year - which roughly translates into a new box for every stop every three years. “Residents now have to treat it like their garbage containers,” Howard said. Homeowners have always been responsible for purchasing their own garbage can and replacing it when it gets damaged. The region estimates it will save $200,000 a year by discontinuing this free service. In addition, starting April 2, there will be a new $2 minimum tipping fee for dumping waste at the Waterloo landfill. Currently, there is no charge for the first 50 kg weighed on the scale, and loads over 50 kg Waste Management Project Manager Cari Rastas Howard said the Region of Waterloo has been giving away 50,000 free replacement blue boxes a year for the past five years and can no longer afford to do so. Only new homeowners will be able to get a free blue boxfrom the region now. are charged the tipping fee of $7.40 per 100kg. After April 2, loads under 50 kg will be charged the flat rate of $2, and fees will remain the same for loads over 50 kg. Howard said other municipalities have a minimum fee of between $5 and $20. This new fee does not apply to items that are free to drop off, such as household hazardous waste, oil, paint, or Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity ReStore donations. To save staffing costs, the public area of the Waterloo landfill will now be closed on all statutory holidays. In the past, it only closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information on waste collection and to check hours of operation for the landfill, visit its website www.regionof waterloo.ca Cooper Patrick of Kitchener walks on a tightrope at the Circus! exhibit at the Waterloo Region Museum. The exhibit has lots of hands-on activities and tales about the circus. The exhibit runs until May 5.