A proposal coming to South Frontenac Council on November 17 would make families buy all their bag tags. Currently South Frontenac gives families 50 tags a year at no cost to the property owner.
The new garbage proposal will disproportionately affect those who produce larger amounts of household garbage with few options for reduction, for example: families with young children and families with at-home medical needs (incontinence, wound care, ostomies). The waste from these families is not optional and they tend to be families with more economic challenges. Young families have increased over all expenses and the income earners are often starting their working years. Families with illness often have reduced incomes and higher expenses.
Council’s goal has been to keep municipal tax increases to 2%. Charging a fee for an essential service is really a tax increase above 2%. If Council wishes to do this it should be done directly.
A significant part of the motivation for this user fee is the increased cost of garbage collection: a reality Council needs to deal with directly though general taxation or policy changes. We should not be imposing an extra tax that will likely increase inequality and negatively affect many families.
Our society has a very serious waste problem. It is a structural problem. Our recycling system is broken: much of what we “recycle” ends up in landfills. Companies are permitted to produce items using wasteful practices; we need a right-to-repair law, limits on packaging and single use items. And, we need an increase in our organic waste composting services.
Doing what we can to reduce waste is important, but not at the expense of increased inequality: a growing and serious problem.