Column: August 31, 2017

New lights at Stonecrest School

As school resumes next week, I want to remind drivers on Kinburn Side Road that new blinking lights and signs were installed at the end of June at Stonecrest Elementary School. When the lights are flashing, speed reduces to 60 km/hr. The reduced speed/flashing lights will occur at morning drop-off, during lunchtime and at day’s end.

Be aware as well that vehicle owners can be fined from $400 - $2,000 and 6 demerit points, if their vehicle illegally passes a stopped school bus. Please slow down, respect the rules of the road and help keep kids safe as they head back to school.

Hazardous Waste Depots

After the most recent City of Ottawa hazardous waste depot on August 20, I received feedback from residents about long lines and wait times. I followed up with City staff to make inquiries as to why there were backlog issues. Staff explained they experienced heavy traffic (over 2,400 vehicles) at the August 20 depot, and received very high volumes of material. Wait times did reach up to 30 minutes. The contractor did everything they could to process vehicles quickly, and more than 5 vehicles per minute were unloaded. Staff believes part of the issue this year is that we have had poor weather for 3 of the 4 depots held to date. There were two extremely rainy depot events, and another one was cut short due to lightning.

I asked staff about the City of Ottawa possibly starting a permanent hazardous water depot program, or expanding the current program to have more than 8 depots each year. City staff does not recommend either option. Each of the 8 depots the city currently holds costs approximately $160,000. The city simply does not have the budget to add more.

There are three more depots happening this year and they are listed on ottawa.ca. If you cannot attend, keep in mind that many retailers can assist in disposing of hazardous and/or electronic waste. For example:

  • Electronics drop-off locations: www.recyclemyelectronics.ca/on/drop-off-locations/
  • Best Buy accepts electronics returns (contact store directly to inquire)
  • There are numerous locations for battery drop-offs including most home improvement stores (Lowes, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, etc.), as well as City of Ottawa libraries and community centres
  • www.makethedrop.ca/locator points to drop-off locations for items such as oil, anti-freeze, pressurized cylinders, etc.
  • Lowes and Rona accept paints and coatings