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EWSWA budget approved in Essex County

- This was the second year in a row a 4.1 percent increase was approved -

by Adam Gault

A 4.1 percent increase to the Essex Windsor Solid Waste Authority’s (EWSWA) 2020 budget was approved at Essex County Council during the Wednesday, November 20 meeting. The approval followed a presentation from EWSWA General Manager, Eli Maodus, and EWSWA Manager of Finance, Michelle Bishop.

  “We’ve prepared a 10 to 15-year forecast that shows that up until 2027, we’ll be seeing and requiring that 4.1 percent increase to eventually get to a balanced budget by 2027,” Maodus said.

According to the report prepared by Maodus for County Council, the 2020 increase represents $222,460 for County of Essex municipalities, which is in addition to the $5,503,225 that was budgeted to be assessed to those municipalities for 2019.

  Additionally, for 2020, the seven County municipalities are forecasted to be assessed an additional $51,300 related to the estimated increase in the amount of refuse delivered for disposal from 48,600 tonnes budgeted in 2019 to 49,950 tonnes estimated for 2020.

  Speaking to the requested 4.1 percent increase, Maodus explained the sale of recycled materials from the blue box program are no longer sufficient to offset the costs of its implementation, adding that they now pose a shortfall across the province.

  “We’re not seeing any recovery in those recycling prices, in the sale of the materials in the blue box, the things we place in there; the steel, the aluminum, the newspapers, cardboard, and so on,” Maodus explained. “That’s impacted the budgeting, not only for Essex-Windsor as I stated, but for all Ontario municipalities.”

  Municipalities currently share 50 percent of the net recycling cost, while starting in 2023, Ontario will compel producers of recyclable materials to pay full cost of the Ontario municipal blue box programs.

  “Although we do sell the material in the blue boxes, the revenue from those sales does not cover the cost to collect that material and bring them to the recycling facilities that we have,” Maodus said. “That will relive a burden from the [EWSWA] budget, and as well with other municipal budgets.

  The budget will also have an increase in the Total Waste Management Fee by $0.56 per tonne to $38.00/tonne from $37.44/tonne. This is the fee assessed to municipalities for each tonne of waste delivered for disposal.

  This results in $55,780 based on the 2019 municipal tonnage level, plus an additional $165,300 due to an increase in municipal tonnes from 99,600 in 2019 to 103,950 in 2020.

While the City of Windsor still needs to approve the budget at a meeting this coming January to make the budget official, when approved, this will match the 4.1 percent increase that was implemented for 2019 at the May 1 Essex County Council meeting.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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