After servicing Hope for nearly a decade, the District refused to renew First Class Waste Services Inc.’s contract after it expired in December. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)

Pee-yew! Garbage becomes a problem as District lapses in providing waste-removal service coverage

First Class Waste’s contract expired in Dec, yet they kept working in good faith—until now

Things at the Hope and Area District Hall may get a bit stinky with the sudden removal of waste-disposal services previously provided by First Class Waste Services Inc. (FCW), which is located in Chilliwack.

“We thank the residents and businesses of Hope for almost a decade of having the honour of servicing them,” wrote Don Mayhew Jr, FCW’s president, in a letter sent to The Hope Standard.

However, after multiple failed attempts at securing a renewed contract for the area, Mayhew says his company is packing up shop and moving out of Hope.

At the end of December 2018, the existing contract between FCW and the District of Hope expired, and in good faith, Mayhew says his company continued servicing the area, even resubmitting a Request for Proposal when the District put the contract up for bid publicly.

“This isn’t because they’re bad people,” said Counsellor Victor Smith, “this is just business. We want to make sure we get the best bang for our buck.”

But in doing that, the District has left itself without a waste-disposal provider, as the tender that was issued expired on April 30.

But after numerous attempts to gain a response from a District of Hope representative regarding their place in continuing to service Hope’s waste needs, Mayhew says his firm was unable to get any answers, and had to finally issue a letter on March 18, stating a proponent would need to be in place by May 1, for that’s when FCW would “cease all services and commence removal of equipment should they not be the selected provider.

“It is unfortunate that the residents and businesses of Hope have to be subjected to no service and a major disruption, but all efforts were exhausted trying to confirm who would be the service provider (come) May 1,” wrote Meyhew in the company’s letter.

He also notes several attempts were made to speak with Council members who apparently said they had no knowledge of these events. No contact was made between FCW and Peter Robb, the District’s mayor.

However, the District’s chief administrative officer, John Fortoloczky, said while they understand a speedy transition from one service provider to another may cause some “short-term friction,” alternative measures are being put in place immediately.

“To minimize service interruption while transitioning to our new waste collection contractor, the District has mobilized personnel and equipment to commence residential curbside waste, recycling, and yard waste collection. Please note, crews will be working until 6:30 p.m. tonight,” the District posted on its Facebook Page at 11:35 a.m.

“My goodness,” commented Rob Christen on the District’s post. “City Hall sure dropped the ball on this one. First Class’s contract ran out end of 2018. You had (four) months to tell your taxpayers there would be a transition.”

But it wasn’t until the morning of May 1 that Hope residents learned FCW was leaving town, and upon reaching out to the District for comment, The Standard was informed the District was “not prepared to make comment at this time … (and) all (pertinent) information … regarding how we are handling the situation is summarized on our webpage.”

As of press time, the webpage does not list who will be the next waste proponent in the area, nor does it explain why the District waited so long to re-tender the contract, or what the cost of this will be to taxpayers.

For more on the District of Hope, please visit Hope.ca.


 

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