Trash fees set to rise
Plus an update about the hospital
Well, the boy’s first Halloween is in the books. He dressed up (read: was dressed as) a little bat and slept through an hour or so of a little outdoor party. Unfortunately for him, all his candy was confiscated by his parents. Maybe next year he’ll get some?
Today we’ve got an update on the status of the General hospital after a serious fire, and some not great news about the future of garbage in the city.
Let’s get to it.
— Robert Hiltz, managing editor
Wednesday: +2 🌡️ -5 | ❄️
Thursday: +7 🌡️ +2 | ☀️
Friday: +7 🌡️ +5 | 🌧
City staff say garbage program underfunded, with or without new measures
What happened: The era of good garbage feelings is coming to an end, as the city runs out of cheap garbage options, a new report from city staff said. No matter what the city does, whether it adds new technologies or just expands the landfill, the price of trash collection is rising from its current $185 per year.
Waste programs elsewhere cost taxpayers much more. In Calgary, the yearly fee is $300, while in Edmonton, it is $585 per year.
City of Ottawa/Handout
Adding technology: If nothing is done, the life of the current Trail Road Dump will end in about 10 years. The solid waste master plan, which would encourage more recycling and green bin use to keep garbage out of the dump, could extend its life another decade. But staff have also considered adding new technologies that could give even more life to the dump.
Staff charted the main options, including doing nothing, following the solid waste master plan (SWMP), a waste-to-energy incinerator (WTE), adding an anaerobic digestor (AD), and mixed waste processing (MWP):
City of Ottawa/Handout
The incinerator would burn trash to generate electricity and would mean about 73 percent less trash going to the landfill. Staff estimate it would mean the emission of the equivalent of 32,936 fewer tonnes of carbon every year.
Mixed waste processing would separate out from the garbage items that could be composted or recycled and keep them out of the landfill. This option could extend the life of the Trail Road dump beyond 2053, and save 5,934 in yearly carbon emissions.
An anaerobic digester uses bacteria to break down organic waste and create natural gas. It would see 4,390 fewer tonnes of yearly carbon emissions.
The cost of doing nothing: Even if nothing is done, the city expects garbage pickup to rise above $300 per year for each household in the next decade. Adding new technologies could increase prices to about $500 or more over the next 30 years.
Staff said the direction on next steps needs to be decided this term of council, so that a decision is chosen before the dump runs out of room:
“Increased funding is needed regardless of SWMP action approval, even status quo service is unsustainably funded,” staff said. “A new landfill and/or alternative technology will be required to manage Ottawa’s future waste needs.”
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⛽️ 5.7: The amount, in cents, the provincial gas tax freeze keeps off the price at the pump. The province is extending its cut until June 2024. [CTV]
🐀 8th: Ottawa ranked as the city with the eighth biggest rat problem in the country. [CTV]
‼️ A teacher at a French Catholic school in Bells Corners was suspended for two days for trapping a student inside a locker for several minutes. The boy’s parents want the teacher transferred to another school. [CBC]
💥 Four cars hit a moose on the 416 near North Grenville on Sunday night. Two people were injured, and the moose did not survive. [CTV]
🛬 A man’s plan for a private airstrip in Dunrobin was given the okay to begin construction despite the concerns of neighbours. [CBC]
🚨 In Brockville a traffic stop led to the discovery of tens of thousands of dollars in fentanyl, meth and cash. Three people were arrested and charged with trafficking-related offences. [CTV]
🚔 A 16-year-old from Gatineau was charged for allegedly stealing a car that had a 10-year-old asleep in the back seat. [CBC]
⚓️ The St. Lawrence Seaway reopened to some boat traffic after the union and the seaway’s operator reached a tentative agreement, ending a strike. [CTV]
🚢 The Edwardian-era steamer SS Keewatin has found a permanent home in Kingston at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes. [CBC]
General hospital ER partially reopens
Robert Hiltz/Ottawa Lookout
What happened: Days after an electrical fire, the General campus of the Ottawa Hospital was finally able to begin accepting some patients by ambulance to the emergency room, CBC reported. For the moment, the ER is only accepting acute patients brought in by EMT crews, and the hospital said patients should still divert to other hospitals in the area.
We are also now able to safely accept higher acuity patients via ambulance to the General Campus Emergency Department, which is an important step towards increasing access to care for everyone in our community. 5/6
— The Ottawa Hospital (@OttawaHospital)
Oct 31, 2023
Relocating: They’ve also brought patients back to their units after smoke, water, and debris damage forced many patients to be relocated throughout the hospital. In all, about 100 patients were moved during the fire. So far, one unit’s worth of patients have been returned to their rooms.
Blood loss: The power outage that followed the fire meant about 400 units of blood were lost as well, CTV reported. Blood products and some medications are stored in fridges, and after a certain period have to be thrown out after an outage. The hospital’s CEO said it was the most severe loss of blood the hospital has had in its history.
Canadian Blood Services told the broadcaster it had already delivered some fresh blood supply to the hospital.
Returning to the NICU: Some newborns have also returned to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, after they were moed next door to CHEO during the power outage, the Ottawa Citizen reported. Many of the babies were either premature or had serious health complications. Some are still at CHEO recovering from the transfer.
Ripple effects: The power outage and closure of part of the General has postponed surgeries, and put pressure on ERs across the city. Adding to the woes, the ambulance service reached level zero on the weekend, meaning it had no crews it could dispatch to emergency calls.
HOUSE OF THE WEEK
This week’s home is an interesting custom home in the Cedar Hill development, north of Barrhaven. It’s hard to pick what to highlight with this one. The indoor jacuzzi? The interesting use of skylights? The grand entranceway? The great patio? This house has plenty to love, but it don’t come cheap.
House of The Week is a home selected by the Lookout team and is not a paid advertisement. All ads are labelled as such. If you’re a realtor who wishes to feature your home in our newsletter, please contact our sales team.
🏟️ Several local experts and advocates said it’s difficult to trust the financial projections on the proposed Lansdowne 2.0 re-redevelopment because so little detail and documentation has been released. There are also concerns GoodLife Fitness may take over the public Horticulture Building for several years during the reconstruction of the north side stands. [CBC]
💰️ Several developers who attended the wedding of Premier Doug Ford’s daughter received special Minister’s Zoning Orders to get special permission for their developments to go forward. The orders overrule local rules and fast track development. A cache of documents revealed the premier’s office was directly involved in land decisions for the first time. [The Canadian Press]
⚖️ Several local women-rights groups are calling on the Ottawa Police Service to fire an officer convicted of threatening his ex with a knife. Const. Yourik Brisebois remains on active duty and was brought back before being found guilty. [CBC]
💐 The founder of Smoke’s Poutinerie, Ryan Smolkin, died at the age of 50 after complications from a recent surgery. [The Canadian Press]
🚂 The first snow of the season appeared to cause some issues with the LRT, as multiple trains stopped on the tracks during Monday morning rush hour service. [CTV]
⛸️ With luck, this year will be a better season. The NCC has started preparations along the Rideau Canal for winter skating. [CTV]
In the Upper Country, a novel by Ottawa’s Kai Thomas, is one of five finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction. [CBC]
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Is it the Experimental Farm, or the setting of a spooky horror film? [Reddit]
One local brewer has a brut, champagne-style beer you’ll want to pick up as a gift — and probably for yourself, too.
We couldn’t come up with anything more clever than Mueen193’s title: Sunset on Somerset. [Reddit]
(Insiders) This rosé from the birthplace of wine in the Caucuses is one that pairs perfectly with Thai food.
It’s Halloween, which means it’s pet costume season. [Reddit]
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Congrats to Susanne, Doug, Wendy, Adam, Marie-Reine, and many more of you who knew the answer to this week’s quiz, that the NICU at the General hospital is on the eighth floor.
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