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Getting it out early

Conception Harbour residents catching on to new 36 hour curb rule, says garbage collector

Life in the time of Covid is even affecting garbage collection in some towns.

In Conception Harbour, the contractor that picks up garbage has asked residents to get their trash to the curb at least 36 hours before his truck and crew comes by to collect it. That’s because of scientific evidence that coronovirus can live for as long as three days on plastic.

Ron Guiney of Ron’s Disposal Service admitted the first week of that policy didn’t go as smoothly as hoped. But things are getting better.

“We did put a public notice out, but it was late going out,” said Guiney. 

So, to give everyone a chance to have their garbage collected that first week, Guiney parked his truck at the Parish Hall parking lot and let residents bring their trash and toss it in the back of the vehicle. He said he was surprised by how many people showed up.

“But this past week there seems to be a lot more people caught on to it (the 36 hour requirement),” Guiney added. 

The town has a lot of elderly residents, Guiney said, who like to come down to meet the truck, garbage in hand, on collection day. But when they do that, he explained, it breaks the rule about the bags not being touched for 36 hours before they are handled by his workers. “You might not be sick today (when we see you), but you might be sick tomorrow,” he said. 

The new system is based solely on trust, Guiney admitted. “Even if 80 per cent does it, that’s 80 per cent less chance of us bringing it (the virus) home,” he said. “We’re very cautious with our distancing and sanitizing. We’re constantly sanitizing the trucks, because we don’t really know how this is getting spread around… We’ve all got to do our part.”

Ron’s Disposal Service is still taking recyclables, because the plant at Robin Hood Bay is still open.

Guiney’s company also provides garbage collection in Cupids and Bauline and has implemented the 36 hour curb rule in those places too.

Three weeks into the new policy, Guiney said people are getting the hang of it. “They’re actually coming out to the door and telling you, ‘Look, that’s out for so long, don’t worry about it.’ So they’re catching on,” he said.

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