Cabin owners riled by garbage fee

Barb Sweet
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Other cabin owners are voicing outrage at a scheme to charge for garbage pickup.


Eastern Waste Management recently circulated letters to residents on the Witless Bay Line about a $180-a-year fee for garbage pickup.

Cabin owners can’t opt out unless the cabin is uninhabitable and has no power.

Residents of Deer Park already have pickup service and Eastern Waste Management is planning on tapping all cabin communities in the region within the next year or so.

The Telegram reported Wednesday on a Witless Bay Line cabin owner who said he has been bringing a supermarket bag of garbage from his cabin home to St. John’s for decades and will continue to do so. A seasonal, weekend cottage user, he said he doesn’t want to leave garbage behind to attract rodents and wild animals.

Reacting to that story, two female senior citizens in St. John’s, who did not want to be named, said they haven’t paid their fee for the Salmonier Line yet and have the same concerns.

They objected to comments made by Ed Grant, chairman of the board that runs not-for-profit Eastern Waste Management. Grant told The Telegram the fee isn’t onerous and it’s not practical to allow cabin owners to opt out.

But the two seniors, one a cancer survivor whose only vacation is her cabin, said for pensioners on a fixed income, the fee is hard to take.

Also speaking out is Mount Pearl resident Garrett Peddle.

“It’s scandalous,” Peddle said Thursday, adding his cabin doesn’t have power or water and sewer, and is 2.5 miles down a dirt road on Witless Bay Line.

He plans not to pay the fee.

“All this is is another tax grab,” Peddle said, adding his family has had the cabin for 60 years.

He noted there’s power in the area, but he doesn’t want it and he should be able to say no to garbage pickup without paying for that.

Peddle and the two seniors noted they are paying for garbage pickup in metro and aren’t over their bag limits with the bit of garbage they bring home from the cabin. And, they argue, all the garbage is bound for the same place — Robin Hood Bay — so it’s like being double charged.

“Nobody wants garbage collection up there. It’s a summer cottage. Everybody is furious about it,” said Peddle, who routinely brings a bag of trash in from his cabin.

The two women who live on Salmonier Line say their garbage collection started in early July, but they still bring their trash into St. John’s and have roughly a shopping bag full.

“It might not be for this Mr. Grant, but $180 for people on a fixed income is a lot of money,” said one woman.

“I am paying my taxes in town to take it to Robin Hood Bay. Why would I pay another $180? … If I am out at the cabin for two days, they don’t collect it in (the city), so it’s still the same amount of garbage going to Robin Hood Bay by me.

“I am struggling now to pay for the necessities. … (The cabin) is my vacation. I’m not like these people promoting this, who are taking a vacation all over the world,” said the other woman.

“This appears to be a job creation project, that’s all.”

Both women remarked on the garbage strewn in ditches along Salmonier Line.

“Are they going to clean up the sides of the road, too? I don’t think so,” said one woman.

The other woman said she routinely picks up garbage other people discard on the side of the road while out walking, so the fee is especially galling.

“This program is not going to stop people from discarding garbage. People will continue to do it,” the senior said.

“(Eastern Waste Management) should be more concerned with people flicking bottles, cups, bags and everything out the car window.”

Organizations: Witless Bay Line, Waste Management

Geographic location: Deer Park, Robin Hood Bay, Mount Pearl

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Recent comments

  • Frank
    August 08, 2014 - 19:12

    I now pay $175.00 for snow clearing and road maintenance. Now it's $180.00 for nonsensical garbage collection. Maybe the obviously wealthy Mr. Grant would care to subsidize us. When they introduce property taxes for those of us in the back woods I am "out ah there!!!!

    • david
      February 19, 2016 - 03:33

      check out the directors remuneration for 2014 $80,000.00 per year. 2015 it is $100,000.00 per year. read the minutes for eastern regional services board

  • Marshall Art
    August 08, 2014 - 11:35

    So Mr. Grant doesn't think the $180.00 fee is onerous ?. Of course he doesn't. That's $15.00 a month, just three dollars more than a senior on a fixed income will pay for two tubs of butter every month and almost have enough left over to buy one 2 litre container of milk. Perhaps the seniors can eat toast without butter and wash it down with water. Mr Grant likely wouldn't see that as a problem because he's already 'out to lunch'.

  • Henry
    August 08, 2014 - 10:26

    James you are full of the smelly stuff.... Nuff said. Our site is pristine. We look after our own site we dont need this tax grab.. when is it going to stop? The fees for everything mentality whether you like it or not placed on us by the Progressive Conservatives policies as thewy dont have the guts to raise tax to pay for their program policies and environmental inniatives..

  • John Q opinion
    August 08, 2014 - 09:20

    Cabin owners already pay fees in their communities. I bring half bag of garbage from my cabin once every three weeks while not creating any additional garbage. It would be the same garbage if I stayed at home. This is nothing but a money grab. Make work project for someone. And is not required. I will continue to bring my garbage home and will never pay the gangsters out there extorting money for no good reason. I look after my own garbage and I am completely aware of environmental reasons for doing so.

  • Kelly
    August 08, 2014 - 09:19

    We also have a cabin in Deer Park and we were just riddled with this garbage fee as well; I think it is ridiculous. Its bad enough that the road fee has increased over the last few years for snow clearing and the upkeep of the road is not that great due to the fact the bulk of the money is used for snow clearing. Upkeep the roads first. With regards to the garbage, its disgraceful to have to pay $180 a year to bring home a dozen shopping bags of garbage for the year. How hard is it to bring it home; we don't want to leave it around our cabin, we don't want to attract rodents. Even for the liveyers, they have to come to town to buy groceries or for doctors appointment, bring the garbage in then.. Next thing you know what should have been a stressfree getaway is going to be come as stressful as your home with taxes and fees. So you will have to pay property tax for a cabin....what next!! Pitch a tent in the woods, or will they charge for that too. Money grab!!

    • Julie
      August 08, 2014 - 12:55

      The main problem here is that some people (especially year round residents) do not bring their garbage to the dump. They burn it, bury it, dump it elsewhere. Not all people who live in these areas go to St. John's or Robin Hood Bay to shop. They go to Holyrood, Bay Roberts, etc. Their garbage does not go with them. Go for a walk along Salmonier Line and keep an eye to the ditch. You'll see a lot of garbage that was most likely tossed from vehicles. But you'll also see ranges, BBQs, microwaves, bags of garbage, etc. Go a little further off the beaten path and you'll see miniature garbage dumps in the making. I hunt in the area regularly and have often said to myself "wow, someone actually went through a lot of trouble to get this garbage way back in the woods".

  • JThompson
    August 08, 2014 - 08:46

    This should be an election "issue". Who gives this "organization" the power to impose these fees. It is inappropriate and shameful! I agree with a previous commenter that $180 might not be onerous for Mr. Grant, but it certainly is for many people.

  • Bambi Barela
    August 08, 2014 - 08:26

    Due to work between myself and my husband we have spent exactly 3 days at our cabin in Spread Eagle. This whole business is a load of "garbage", it had to be said, and should be on a request for service basis. We will not be paying a fee for a service we do not require or avail of.

  • James
    August 08, 2014 - 08:11

    Obviously there are people who reside full time in these areas or for extended periods of time away from their primary residence who do require the services of a regular garbage collection. In a socialist society an equally distributed tax base is collected to fund the necessities regardless if you avail of all the services. A good portion of my tax dollars go towards education yet I have no children availing of that system. I believe the collection is required. It is a better system than the prior gravel pit dumps or incinerators. Bite the bullet and pay the 180 or roughly 49 cents a day. Your cottage country will be cleaner for it. Alas - not everyone takes their garbage home with them.

    • Max Roe
      August 08, 2014 - 12:04

      One of the tenets of a democratic society (not a socialist dictatorship) is taxation through representation. Let the people decide.

  • Patti Thorne
    August 08, 2014 - 07:42

    Does Eastern Waste management have legislative authority to collect money form cabin owners?

    • Joan Hudson
      August 08, 2014 - 21:25

      We to have a cabin at Spreadeagle and are really peeved with this money grab. We have not stayed overnight at the cabin for couple of years we go and spend a couple of hours and always bring our garbage home. We were told by a member of the board that if we didn't pay we would be put in a collection agency so what choice do we have. We were told the service was there for our benefit and it was our choice if we did not use it but we still have to pay