• Nick Zacharias

Collection conflict curbed


PHOTO BY NICK ZACHARIAS

At a time when the Town of Hudson is making the transition to bi-weekly waste collection, coming in line with many other municipalities in an effort to reduce garbage and focus on streaming recyclables and organic material, homeowner James Martin has had a standoff with his recycling truck driver.

Tensions escalated

The conflict started with the driver, in line with policy, refusing to pick up materials that were enclosed in a plastic bag and thus not identifiable as recyclable. When Martin and his family attempted to comply with the regulations, placing appropriate items loosely in the bin the following week, pick-up was again refused, leading to a standoff and ultimately a letter sent by a lawyer to the town demanding that collection be resumed immediately.

The letter from lawyer François Beauvais, copied to The Journal, stated, “In early April 2020, the attendant responsible for collecting recyclable waste … began to rummage through the bin and then dumped it completely in the driveway of our client to check the contents. This attendant then warned the spouse of our client that certain items contained in the bin were not recyclable.”

The letter then goes on to relate a “surreal” turn.

“On May 5, 2020, the same attendant came to our client's home, then immediately emptied the entire contents of the recycling bin into the driveway and street … saying that there were still non-recyclable items, in addition to insulting our client in the presence of neighbours.” Martin says he checked with an independent recycling firm, and they confirmed that, “… 98 per cent of what was in the bin was actually recyclable.”

According to the letter, the same attendant returned on May 12, took one look in the bin and declared to Martin’s spouse Katia Laurin, who was outside at the time, that he wouldn’t take it. He reportedly added, in comments peppered with insulting language, that they need not bother putting the bin out for collection in future because it will no longer be emptied.

Town responds

The letter went out on Thursday, May 28, and the town of Hudson responded the following Tuesday to remedy the situation.

“I got a call from the town saying they would send a truck, but I already had the backlog taken care of by an outside company. They say they’ll be coming back to do normal pickup starting next week,” said Martin.

According to Hudson Director General Philip Toone, the situation has been resolved. “There were misunderstandings, but now everyone knows where their responsibilities lie,” he said, confident that the matter has been put to rest.

For a guide of what can and cannot be placed in the recycling bin consult tricycle-mrcvs.ca/en.

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