March 19, 2018, Guelph, Ont.—The City of Guelph’s Solid Waste division is laying off 18 employees from its Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Affected employees will be accommodated with jobs elsewhere in the organization wherever possible.
“The City appreciates the hard work that all the folks at Solid Waste Resources do to make our operations run smoothly and better our residents’ quality of life,” says Scott Stewart, deputy chief administrative officer of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services. “Through our business service review we’ve discovered that we’re processing almost double the amount of recyclables at our materials recovery facility as other comparable facilities. In order to be efficient and improve our process for recapturing items that we can sell back to the market, we need to make changes. Our goal, however, is to make them with as little impact on our people as possible, and we’re very disheartened to have to make these layoffs.”
Management consulted with the executive of CUPE 241 about the changes before informing staff earlier today. Both City management and the union representing Solid Waste employees are committed to minimizing the impact of the layoffs on affected employees.
The staffing changes being announced today are, in part, the result of a number of expected changes to waste operations over the next couple of years including changes to the Province’s Blue Box Program which may change how recycling is collected and processed, and a move to focusing on Guelph-only recyclables processing with Guelph multi-residential waste collection starting sometime in 2019.
In recent years, the Solid Waste operation has been operating at a financial loss. The Solid Waste Resources business service review currently underway has brought many positives to light, along with some challenges. The staffing changes being announced today will help address some of those challenges by improving operational efficiencies and allowing the City to maintain fiscal accountability and financial viability.