The City of Guelph has laid off 18 employees from its materials recovery facility (MRF), stating that the facility is trying to process too many recyclables while struggling financially.
A Guelph report showed the facility’s annual operating budget was $4.3 million, but the city only makes about $2.3 million in revenue from the sale of recyclables.
The City said it’s trying to process twice as many recyclables as facilities of similar size.
“The City appreciates the hard work that all the folks at Solid Waste Resources do to make our operations run smoothly and better our residents’ quality of life,” said Scott Stewart, deputy chief administrative officer of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services, in a City news release. “In order to be efficient and improve our process for recapturing items that we can sell back to the market, we need to make changes, and that includes getting out of the business of processing recyclables for other communities. Our goal, however, is to make these changes with as little impact on our people as possible, and we’re very disheartened to have to make these layoffs,” added Stewart.
The City of Guelph had been paying $93 per tonne to process recyclables through a contract with Simcoe County. That contract is now expected to be over.
Curbside collection, organics, public drop off, household hazardous waste and waste management are all operating within expectations, says a City report.