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City of Barrie to take legal action over leaf collection delays

The City of Barrie is now seeking legal action against Waste Connections. The company is paid between six and $700,000 annually to collect and remove Barrie's yard waste.

"It's unacceptable that the basic services are not being provided by the contractor," says Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall.

"We have informed the contractor in writing that the city is seeking financial penalties on behalf of the taxpayers in according with our contract due to non-fulfillment and negligence of contractual responsibilities," he adds.

Waste Connections says it hasn't been able to stay on schedule due to a lack of licensed truck drivers.

"Due to staffing issues that they've had, they've told us that's the main reason they are unable to keep the number of crews and trucks necessary to do the pickup,' says Barrie Growth & Infrastructure Management General Manager Bala Araniyasundaran.

The city is now hoping to recoup the money it has had to pay city workers in overtime as they continue to collect yard waste and now additional expenses.

"We're using some of our crews, and we're also in the process of organizing other contractors to fill in and get this done as soon as possible," says Araniyasundaran.

Barrie's new mayor says he's proud of the effort city staff and now extended seasonal workers have shown, in trying to pick up the slack.

"Seeing folks step up as well as some outside-the-box thinking and people putting in some extra hours is wonderful to see," says Nuttall.

As for the pursuit of new contractors, the city believes that based on their inquiries, some may be available by week's end. The hope is to complete the yard waste removal in two weeks. Top Stories

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