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November 3, 2009

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Grand Forks goes public to improve quality

GRAND FORKS—CUPE 4728 members will once again provide garbage and recycling collection starting Canada Day 2010 - thanks to the local’s five years of work to bring solid waste collection back in-house. CUPE 4728 members in Grand Forks helped the CAO make the case for public sector provision of solid waste, recycling, and compostable yard waste.

“Thanks to a great collaborative effort with our local and the CAO, residents will win,” says CUPE 4728 president Ross Idler. “Concern about inadequate service quality from the private contractor and the ability for us to provide a higher level of service that meets our residents’ needs sold Council.

“Being able to do everything at curbside and do it more often is a big plus for our aging population,” says Idler.

On Monday, November 2, Grand Forks Mayor and Council publicly announced the results of their unanimous in-camera vote. The result: to bring garbage services back in-house after years of privatization.

The City of Grand Forks was awarded a Green City Award and the Communities in Bloom Floral Award last year. Since 1997, under the direction of Master Gardener Idler, all gardening has been done organically.

“Capturing the compostable materials is essential in helping us avoid the use of chemicals in our City gardens and this is important because our water supply comes from groundwater,” explains CUPE 4728 president Ross Idler.

“The City and our union are working together on plans to reduce the overall amounts going to landfill. By making all waste collection public we will ensure that same commitment to thoughtful, exceptional service continues.”


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