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City to levy a $100 fine against Emterra for every missed pickup

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Mayor Sam Katz says Emterra could face some expensive fines if the company misses garbage and recycling pickup as of Thursday, Nov. 1.

Starting Thursday, Winnipeg will levy a $100 fine against Emterra for every missed pickup.

The waste collector started picking up garbage, recycling and yard waste from 165,000 households on Oct. 1, and Thursday marks the end of the company's 30-day grace period. Emterra started collecting garbage and recycling in the former autobin areas on Aug. 1 and the city has since levied penalties against the company for deficiencies in these neighbourhoods.

Katz said the fines have so far cost the company a lot of money.

"I can tell you I've been told it's significant, very significant," Katz said following this morning's executive policy committee meeting. "It's my understanding in some areas the fines have actually exceeded what they would've got paid, which means they were basically providing a service free-of-charge."

Officials from the city's water and waste department later said they gave incorrect information to the mayor's office and the fines levied against Emterra for this period have not exceeded the cost of the collection service.

Winnipeg has a five-year contract with Emterra, and Katz said the company is motivated to improve its waste collection service or else it will cost them money.

Last week, Katz instructed city administration to review Winnipeg's legal options -- and possibly hand the service to another contractor in some parts of the city to get the job done. If a portion of the city were to be given to another contractor, Katz said Emterra would not be paid for the work and the city would enter into a contract with a new provider.

While the city was initially inundated with complaints over delays and missed pickups, Katz said he's heard the service has improved.

"The realities are it's much better, I can tell you for the first time in three pickups my own was picked up on time. Yard waste two days later," he said.

History

Updated on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 1:52 PM CDT: Corrects amount of fine.

3:27 PM: Adds sentence regarding fines levied against Emterra NOT in fact exceeding the cost of the collection service.

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