Treasure-hunt weekend and white-goods/hazardous-waste pickup cancelled in May

Stratford has once again cancelled its treasure-hunt weekend along with its white-goods and household-hazardous-waste pickup dates in May, but city staff say those programs could resume next month.

The City of Stratford has cancelled its treasure hunt weekend, along with its white goods and household hazardous waste pickup dates in May to prevent further spread of COVID-19. The city’s landfill is still open Monday to Friday and residents can arrange to have white goods garbage tags delivered to their homes to allow for the proper disposal of everything but household hazardous waste -- which they must hold onto until pickup can resume. Galen Simmons/The Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network

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In an effort to prevent further spread of COVID-19, the City of Stratford has once again cancelled its late-May treasure hunt weekend, along with its May 19 white goods and May 30 household hazardous waste pickup dates in May.

“With a lot of the white goods and hazardous waste pickup there’s a lot of physical handling by staff, so I think what we’re looking at is … reinstating all of that for June,” Stratford director of infrastructure and development services Ed Dujlovic said. “As the province opens up … we will then get (waste collection) going back (to normal) in the month of June.”

In the meantime, Dujlovic said white goods – durable household appliances such as fridges and stoves – can be disposed of at the Stratford landfill, which is currently open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, with the possibility that city will also reopen the landfill on Saturdays at some point in the near future.

To dispose of white goods at the landfill, Dujlovic said residents can order the appropriate garbage tags through city hall and arrange to have them delivered to their homes.

Household hazardous waste, on the other hand, must be stored by residents until the city can resume its normal pickup of those items.

“We have six (household hazardous waste pickups) a year, and we’ve cancelled April and May,” Dujlovic said. “So we’ll have to look instead at maybe one in October and maybe November. Our certificate of approval prescribes when we can have these things – it even says what hours we can operate – so when we change the operating hours of each (pickup), we have to get an amendment through the Ministry of Environment. … Residents need to hang onto (those materials) for now.

“It goes back to our certificate of approval. We can’t accept it and store it (at the landfill) because what happens is when the contractor comes in for the day we have the (hazardous waste pickup) … (they) pull the material away to their facility. We don’t have anything set up to store on site.”

As for the treasure hunt weekend, Dujlovic said it was cancelled this month for the same reason many municipalities have banned yard and garage sales – to promote physical distancing and keep people from coming in contact with surfaces that could have been exposed to the virus. These weekends encourage residents to put surplus furniture and household items by the curb for others to take.

According to Dujlovic, all other aspects of the city’s waste-collection programs are operating normally, including the city’s new curbside organics collection program. In April, the city recorded a total of 70.8 tonnes of organic material collected, putting the program on track to generate roughly 880 to 890 tonnes of organic material in its first year.

Residents who have not yet received their green bins can contact waste reduction co-ordinator Kate Simpson at 519-271-0250 ext. 279 or to arrange delivery.