For those who are purging their homes and garages of unwanted items, it is the most wonderful time of the year. But it isn’t an equally-happy time for Champlain Township, which has struggled every year with the few residents who put out too much garbage or leave items at the curb that are not on the accepted pick-up list.

This year, if you put too much garbage at the curb for spring collection pick-up in Champlain Township, you are likely to receive a sticker or some other notice that your garbage will not be picked up for free.

Champlain Township council discussed the spring garbage collection at its committee of the whole meeting on April 2 and came up with some new rules, all in order to eliminate the cases where property owners take advantage of the additional spring garbage pick-up by placing too many items — or items that are not accepted — at the curb. The new rules are not official yet; the committee of the whole, which in in this case, consists of all the members of Champlain Township council, discusses issues and can only make recommendations to be presented at the next council meeting. The next regular council meeting takes place on Tuesday, April 9 at 7 p.m. at 948 Pleasant Corner Road East.

Last year, the township had to deal with a few people who simply left too much garbage for the special spring pick-up, which is supposed to assist residents to divest of unwanted items, within reason.

Letters will be sent to residents and details will be posted on the municipal website and advertised in local newspapers, West Hawkesbury councillor Sarah Bigelow was assured, once the monitoring procedure was set in place.

Champlain Mayor Normand Riopel opened the discussion, mentioning those who abused the special pick-up last year by leaving too many and/or unacceptable items at the curb.

A lengthy discussion ensued about the definition of “abuse” and what action could be taken to prevent it.

Riopel argued that the additional pick-up scheduled over and beyond routine garbage pick-up will cost the municipality $21,000 this year and said that he does not like those who abuse the system.

“I’ll take the heat,” said Riopel, referring to the proposed idea of refusing to collect the non-compliant garbage items at the curb, with a sticker on it, advising residents that it would not be collected.

But Vankleek Hill councillor Peter Barton disagreed. “All these councillors will take the heat before it gets to you.”

Riopel pointed out that council had almost abandoned the spring collection.

“It’s always the good people that suffer,” Miner said.

There was more discussion about using stickers, and the notion that a sticker might be placed on an item which might then get picked up by a those who routinely drive from residence to residence during the spring garbage collection week, looking for items to salvage.

“The scavengers are not too bad — they usually put it (the pile) back together,” said Riopel. But most councillors did acknowledge that the sticker might not be the best way to tell residents that their spring garbage purge was too much for the township to collect, or that it was an unacceptable item. (For instance, no construction materials can be included in the spring clean-up, no entire buildings, and only up to four pieces of furniture.)

Barton pointed out that the by-law officer, if patrolling the streets and roads before the garbage collectors pass, would have to take note of where he left the stickers.

Champlain Township CAO Paula Knudsen acknowledged that it would take some coordination, given that there are different collection weeks for different parts of the township.

In addition, sometimes the garbage piled at the road or curb is left on road allowances and is no longer on residents’ properties, Knudsen pointed out when L’Orignal councillor André Roy asked if the township could simply collect the extra items and bill the residents.

“There are more issues than solutions,” Knudsen reflected.

Champlain Public Works Director James McMahon said that even those who show up at the municipal landfill site on a Saturday try to slip certain items past the gate-keeper.

“We see a lot. Trailers arrive with a load of leaves but underneath, there is wood and paint cans. We see a lot of that,” said McMahon.

“We can’t cover everything,” said Miner. “Let’s try this and see how it goes.”

Riopel acknowledged that the pick-up was helpful to residents, many of whom likely did not have trucks at their disposal or the manpower to haul unwanted items to the municipal landfill site.

The new monitoring system for the spring garbage collection will be presented at the township’s regular meeting. In the meantime, here are the spring collection dates and times for Champlain Township.

Residents should note that all items must be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on the Monday of the respective week for collection in their area, but not earlier than the weekend prior to the scheduled pick-up week. No collection vehicles will return to an area if pick-up has already occurred.

The pick-up schedule is as follows:

Vankleek Hill (Ward 1) The week of April 29, 2019
West Hawkesbury (Ward 4)

North of Greenlane Road East and West including that section of Provincial Highway 34 (excluding Greenlane Road East and West)

The week of May 6, 2019
West Hawkesbury (Ward 4)

South of Greenlane Road East and West including that section of Provincial Highway 34 to Provincial Highway 417 (including Greenlane Road East and West)

The week of May 13, 2019
L’Orignal (Ward 2) The week of May 20, 2019
Longueuil (Ward 3) The week of May 27, 2019

Curbside spring garbage collection will occur for residential (domestic) items only. The maximum amount of garbage that the township will collect is limited to the equivalent of four pieces of furniture/appliances. Refrigerator coolant (Freon) must be removed and the appliance must be tagged by a licensed contractor before pickup.

No commercial, industrial, hazardous, agricultural or construction waste items will be collected. Property owners will have to make separate arrangements with private contractors for disposal of these items.

Tires will not be collected.

It is important to note that electronic and electrical equipment will be collected in your area by Recycle-Action the same week identified above. Please separate electronic and electric equipment from the other household garbage at the curbside.

Should you have any questions regarding pickup dates and which articles cannot be picked up during this curbside collection day, please call the municipal office at (613) 678-3003.

Note that the municipal landfill site, located at 1897 Cassburn Road, is open every Saturday, from May 5 to November 3, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Proof of residence is required.