Battle of the bins

Dave Stewart
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Charlottetown Councillor Mitchell Tweel wants to come up with a plan to address the prevalence of Waste Watch bins on city streets. During a recent meeting of council he referred to Charlottetown as a city of garbage cans, comments, which didn't sit well with Mayor Clifford Lee.

Mitchell Tweel, Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee clash on “city of garbage cans’’ comment

Coun. Mitchell Tweel says Charlottetown is turning into the city of garbage cans, a comment that has Mayor Clifford Lee asking the Ward 4 councillor for a public apology.

During council’s regular May public meeting, Tweel asked Rob Lantz, vice-chairman of the urban beautification committee, to meet with Island Waste Management Corporation (IWMC) to embark on a pilot project to work with property owners to help relocate the waste and compost bins to the backs of homes and apartment buildings where they would be subtle and discreet.

Tweel said residents are concerned these bins are dotting the streetscape in his ward and it’s not exactly pleasing to the eye.

“For the streetscape . . . and the ambience . . . it doesn’t do anything (for the city),’’ Tweel said, noting that the city’s urban beautification budget is $1.5 million. “We need a bylaw, policy and procedure to help facilitate and to eventually be a guiding document for the city.’’

He also noted the city has committed $50,000 for the tulip festival, that the city has spent thousands of dollars participating in the Communities in Bloom program and has been involved in the Make Your Hometown Beautiful program.

“We’ve become a city of garbage cans,’’ Tweel said.

“It seems to me to be a complete contradiction. The Waste Watch bins being left on the city’s right-of-way or in front of people’s homes and properties does nothing for the ambience, the esthetics and the streetscapes in this historical city. It is a complete contradiction to all of the programs, initiatives, resources and taxpayers’ money that has been spent on these various commitments.’’

“I find it totally appalling and most disrespectful for an elected official in the city to refer to this city as a city of garbage cans. It’s inappropriate and, quite frankly, Mr. Tweel owes the citizens of this community an apology,’’ Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee

One of the main concerns for residents in Ward 4, the councillor said, is bins lined up on upper Hillsborough Street.

Tweel’s comments are not sitting well with Lee.

“I find it totally appalling and most disrespectful for an elected official in the city to refer to this city as a city of garbage cans,’’ Lee said. “It’s inappropriate and, quite frankly, Mr. Tweel owes the citizens of this community an apology.’’

Lee said he appreciates there are concerns over the compost and waste bins but it’s something that can be addressed very easily with IWMC rather than going to the media.

“For an elected official to stand up and refer to the city of Charlottetown as a city of garbage cans, I find it totally disrespectful to the city. I find it totally disrespectful to the people who call this city home and I find it totally disrespectful to the many, many people in this city who spend endless hours from one end of the year to the other to maintain their property.’’

Tweel told The Guardian he has no plans to apologize.

“I think he has lost focus and needs to deal with the issue,’’ Tweel said, referring to the mayor. “I’m trying to be proactive and progressive.’’

Organizations: Island Waste Management

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • LJP
    May 23, 2014 - 13:53

    I think that instead of apologizing for the comment about garbage cans, Mitchell Tweel, Mayor Clifford Lee, and the population of Charlottetown itself should be apologizing for the fact that the "Urban Beautification" annual budget is 1.5 MILLION DOLLARS, when the government derived budget for watershed restoration and management for ALL OF PEI (including Charlottetown's urban watersheds) is between $8 and $900 000 total. Our priorities as a community are askew on issues like this.

  • wade
    May 22, 2014 - 20:45

    "Not Mitch Tweel" is cute, too cute for his own good. Right on, congratulations Mitch for binging his up, - along with letting us know that we squander 1.5. mill. $ a year on beautification in this City, - make work projects so Clifford can get re- elected. This I am sure includes drinking boxes and pizza for every one, --- lower the taxes for Pete's sake, and get real, - time to re-place these wasters.

  • Fed up
    May 22, 2014 - 18:03

    I wonder how Tweel thinks the seniors can crawl through snow banks to "hide" their garbage bins....and fight to haul them out to the street to be collected?!?! I know that most homes...in order to HIDE the bins....there would be 4-6 ft snow banks to pull them through. There must be other things he can fight for. One thing I can think of? Raise fines for people parking in handicap spaces WITHOUT A PERMIT!!!! Pave some streets! Nothing more UGLY than these streets "patched" with tar....which makes them worse than before!

  • Pete
    May 22, 2014 - 13:10

    Not normally a Mitch fan, but I am with him on this.

  • Captain Canuck
    May 22, 2014 - 12:28

    Stick to your guns Mitch! My neighbours and I put ours away and we're proud of our neighbourhood. We look good. As for the "wise one" with the stench and maggots in the compost bin... do like the normal people do and clean your bins! Good lord, you're stinkin' up the neighbourhood.

  • Not Mitch Tweel
    May 22, 2014 - 12:07

    None of you realize that Mitch is fighting for the greater good here. While nobody else may be keen to it, I've seen these bins plotting something - plotting from right under our noses and right in front of our houses. Plotting what exactly? I don't know, but I can guarantee they only have one thing in mind - pure evil. We must prevent them from congregating on our streets and spreading their hateful anti-esthetic words and ideals. I say we should not only segregate them to the backs of our homes, but also increase budget in order to install cameras to monitor them in case they attempt to communicate. Trust me. This is for everybody's safety and to keep the trash off of our streets.

  • Jon
    May 22, 2014 - 11:34

    More importantly, the "city’s urban beautification budget is $1.5 million" WHAT?!!! That's a lot of tulips!

  • disguisting
    May 22, 2014 - 07:37

    in the summer when my compost bin grows maggots and attracts earwigs and other creepy crawlys, I don't want it stored next to my residence! I don't want those critters attracted near my home or getting inside. I moved the bins away for good reason. Not to mention the stench from 2 week old garbage/compost... don't want it coming in my home.

    • tweel is right
      May 22, 2014 - 12:01

      to disgusting and others complaining, It's your garbage so deal with the stink and bugs that come with it. What makes you think it is ok to leave the stinking bins out on the road in the publics eyes/nose? keep them in your own property and tucked away in a corner nice and neatly. If you can't stand the smell of your own garbage then take it once a week to the superior sanitation compound, it's less then 10 minutes away..... While Tweel is on the subject of garbage bins maybe someone could do something about the old grease buckets on the corner of Dorchester and Queen street too. I do believe that stink belongs to the Canton Cafe Chinese restaurant...... Clean up your act Mayor Lee. Do you really want the title "Garbagetown" rather than "Charlottetown"?????

  • Quiet Observer
    May 22, 2014 - 06:57

    So, Mr. Lee, I guess that means you are going to do nothing to deal with the issue, which we all see daily. This is low level [politics where Lee is deflecting dealing with an issue by attacking the person who raised it. I don't like Tweel. Find him somewhat useless most of the time. But that doesn't mean everything he says is garbage .....

  • John Michael Murphy
    May 22, 2014 - 06:42

    Some of these comments are so inappropriate. Mr. Tweel is a voice for his ward. When you have concerns he will address them immediately. He works hard representing the people that have elected him. Thank you, Mitch.

  • caringgal
    May 21, 2014 - 22:33

    I agree with Mitch.I also feel that he truly cares about the city,and these rude comments are a reflection of the uninformed idiots who have nothing better to do. If they'er so smart,step up and put your name on the ballot.

  • james
    May 21, 2014 - 21:07

    I don't like Mr. Tweel, I don't like garbage cans all over place, I don't like the crappy looking dumps known as apartments/houses, I don't like my own comment, I don't like a lot of things, yet I still live/work here, and I still comment. (ps- sometimes I hit the bins with my car on purpose when they are too close to the road)

    • Sunny
      May 22, 2014 - 01:51

      :D LOL! You're way funnier than a Queen Lynch!

  • My house, my choise
    May 21, 2014 - 21:06

    If this is Tweels biggest issue, we're doing pretty good. I think you have bigger fish to fry. Try improving parking downtown, or working on ways to get drugs off the street. Maybe work on ways to decrease taxes or save energy. If this is really a problem, work with Waste Watch and have them design prettier bins. Just don't make them cost more.

  • Bees knees
    May 21, 2014 - 20:02

    I am not even from Mr. Tweel's ward, but I completely agree with him. I can understand cans on the street for pick-up, but after that, they should be stored out of sight. Possibly an exception can be made for the winter season where it when such a practice may not be feasible. Apartment buildings are the most unsightly, including some of the seniors' residences. The odour in the summer from the dozens of cans grouped together is overwhelming. I know mine for a household of two can smell to high heavens in the hot weather, and oh yes! The fruit flies and maggots cometh. ... Anyway, mr. Tweet is correct that there could be some rules around the bins and where they are maintained most of the year around. Has anyone walked by them in the summer downtown at the height of tourist season?

  • mark
    May 21, 2014 - 19:41

    Hey Tweel , have you looked around your neighborhood lately. The garbage bins should be the least of your worries. Clean up the dumpy looking houses in your area. It is a disgrace that people have to look at the "esthetics" going down Queen or the avenue. Smarten Up!!!!

    • I agree
      May 22, 2014 - 21:10

      I agree those buildings on university ave .Thought there a bylaw against unsightly property and those rental.units from the outside looks worse than the cans . I not having cans frozen to back of building in winter esp with the lack.of snow removal this past winter .

  • Just passin by
    May 21, 2014 - 18:53

    Mitch Tweel is a stain on this city's fine reputation.

  • Charlottetown home owner
    May 21, 2014 - 17:42

    City residents formerly put out several large dark green or black garbage bags, piled them close to curbs where some of their contents were spilled, making it unsightly, unsanitary and dangerous. Now our province's Environment department has made available to citizens new, neat, sturdy and very nice compact containers, green for compost and black for waste, blue for papers and other recyclables. With these convenient methods, city residents can easily separate compost from trash and waste, and so on. For several years now most of us have been getting along very well with this tidy and orderly disposal method. Councillor Tweel, "if it ain't broke don't fix it" I don't want to have to do this in my back yard! (homeowner)

  • Is it just me
    May 21, 2014 - 17:16

    I can't understand why anyone wouldn't like the look of them , they're not pretty ill give him that ; but it's better than the old days of piles of trash in front of everyone's place torn up by birds or critters