Staff members should research thoroughly – Lake Cowichan Gazette

Staff members should research thoroughly

Brian Murphy, Director of Public Works and Engineering for the Town of Duncan, asked the City Council that now is the time to purchase an all-new, fully automated side-loading garbage truck. Councilor Gary Bruce asked Brian, what about outsourcing garbage collection to a private contractor?

Brian replied that a contractor would cost more than the city to buy his own truck. Scrolling through the lines, Brian didn’t even do his research to see what a contractor would cost. Also, what about checking in to see what a new truck would cost if the city were to lease the vehicle. At the end of a lease, the city could get a brand new truck again. This would offset the purchase again when the new truck is fully depreciated. Some might say a lease is more expensive, but the city still gives pay raises every year at already outrageous pay rates.

There is a learning curve for all landowners to learn. Brian says that with an automated truck, the driver never has to get out of the cab of the truck. Not true. Why? Position the cart forward (the handlebars and wheels are not facing the street) Place the cart less than one meter from the street.

Leave a minimum of two feet of clearance on both sides. Do not place within two feet of poles, mailboxes and other containers. Make sure the carriage is not obstructed. for example, do not park in front of the car. Avoid overloading the cart. The carriage must be able to close completely. Make sure all trash is bagged and there is no stray trash in the cart. If your garbage is currently being picked up from an alley in your home, a fully automated truck will no longer be able to do so. The town of Port Alberni is a town that has lanes leading to all the houses in town.

The City of Port Alberni took the plunge and purchased three fully automated sideloaders without doing any research. From now on, all garbage collection must be done on the street in front of their home, because the new trucks cannot use the alleys for collection. Now owners have to bring their carts to the main street whereas under the old system they had nothing to do. The cost of the three trucks cost taxpayers $954,867 and the three older trucks as trade-ins that were only six years old.

You must put your garbage on the street in front of your home.

The city council said owners will have a say before a new truck is considered for purchase. Before owners have a say in the matter, they need to know the learning curve for doing this successfully, a breakdown of the cost of buying a new truck versus what a contractor would cost and whether it buy the truck or lease it. Currently, annual garbage collection costs $146 per year and Brian estimates that a fully automated truck collection would cost between $199 and $210 per year.

Brian Murphy, receives a taxpayer-funded salary of $99,237 per year according to the City of Duncan’s 2021 financial statements. With that type of salary, I would have expected Brian to report fully on the subject without shoot from the hip, and disregard the most important issue which is taxpayers’ money.


Joe Sawchuk