By Kevin J Sabo
For the Advance
The Town of Castor will soon have a new garbage truck.
Council decided to move forward with the purchase after receiving a report from CAO Christopher Robblee about the condition of the current equipment.
The report highlighted several problems with the current garbage truck, ranging from significant rust issues in the frame of the vehicle and a variety of hydraulic leaks.
“The mechanic who checked the vehicle was able push a screwdriver through the metal of the box,” said Robblee during the May 25th meeting.
“And there is serious rust on the frame. The (current) garbage truck is not a sustainable option. The cost to fix isn’t a guarantee it will even make three years.”
Administration has earmarked $80,000 in reserve funds from previous years to go towards the purchase of a new garbage truck, including $21,000 in Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding, though after looking at the market for garbage trucks, the reserved amount is about half what the Town needs to get a quality replacement.
According to Robblee the only trucks they have been able to find around the price of $80,000 are either older, have higher mileage, or are generally more worn out than the existing unit.
A newer truck that’s in decent shape will run the town around $160,000 to $180,000, depending on the tendering process – a process which must be done under the Municipal Government Act due to cost of the expenditure.
“It will be 90 days at minimum before we get close to finishing the procurement process,” said Robblee.
With the Town of Castor needing to purchase a new garbage truck, administration and public works have found a couple of options.
The first option is a rear load garbage truck, similar to what the Town already has.
The purchase of this unit will allow public works to keep the same garbage collection route and system already in place. There would, however, be an addition of a bin tipper on the rear of the vehicle, so that the wheeled carts used in some communities could also be dumped.
The second option, and the option which the majority of communities have switched too, is a side load garbage truck.
With the side load truck, every resident in town would be given one of the aforementioned garbage carts, which would be placed on the street on garbage day, and the truck would come by and grab it with a claw, dump it, put it back down, then carry on to the next house.
This system would mean that Public Works staff would not have to handle resident’s garbage.
Cost-wise, the side load garbage truck with the carts for the residents and the rear load garbage truck with a tipper, without carts, are pretty close to the same cost. With a side load garbage truck, Town of Castor Public Works staff would be required to alter the existing.
In a motion made by Coun. Brenda Wismer, council decided to purchase a used rear load garbage truck to replace the existing the one.
The vote was not unanimous. Coun. Kevin McDougall was the lone vote against purchasing a used rear load garbage truck, feeling that if the majority of communities are moving to the side load system, Castor should follow suit.