March 19, 2018 11:07 am
Updated: March 19, 2018 12:18 pm

City of Guelph lays off 18 recycling employees

The City of Guelph announced Monday 18 employees from their Materials Recovery Facility have been laid off.

File / Global News
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The City of Guelph has announced 18 employees from its Materials Recovery Facility have been laid off.

The news comes after last fall’s waste resources review showed that the facility, which sorts through recyclables and sells them, was losing money.

In a news release on Monday, a spokesperson for the city said changes need to be made to be efficient and to improve the process of selling items back to the market.

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“Our goal, however, is to make [changes] with as little impact on our people as possible and we’re very disheartened to make these layoffs,” said Scott Stewart, deputy chief administrative officer of infrastructure, development and enterprise services.

About 50 employees now work at the facility.

The city will also stop collecting recyclable materials from Simcoe County beginning in June.

“We’re reducing our focus at our Materials Recovery Facility down to processing only Guelph’s recyclables,” said Peter Busatto, the city’s general manager of environmental services. “With the loss of that recycling contract we no longer need the staff to do that work.”

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Busatto said it’s a tough day for staff working at the facility.

“I think staff have known we’ve had some struggles recently with our finances here in this department,” he added. “We have to see ourselves through this and be committed to continue to do the best job we can at managing our recyclables.”

The report showed the facility’s annual operating budget was $4.3 million, but the city only makes about $2.3 million in revenue from the sale of recyclables.

The final report and recommendations of the review is expected to go before city council next month.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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