T.O. city workers haul away heaps of stinky trash
Toronto cleaning crews dove into troves of garbage on Saturday, rolling up their sleeves to get rid of the mess left by a 39-day civic strike.
It was their first official day back on the job since municipal workers took to the picket lines on June 22. Their first order of business was to collect 25,000 tonnes of garbage that have been dumped in several temporary garbage sites set up across the city.
"From there we move on to remediation which would include sweeping all the asphalt and hard surfaces, power washing with disinfectant," said Vince Sferrazza, director of policy and planning at Toronto's solid waste management department.
Leftover water will be vacuumed up and the soil will be tested to ensure that it hasn't been contaminated and that it meets environmental standards, he said.
City official say they're hoping to have all the garbage removed by 7 p.m. Sunday night.
Residents living in the neighbourhoods where the temporary dumps were set up say they are disgusted with the thick stench the gargage has left behind. Some people said they could smell the garbage at Christie Pits park three blocks away.
"It's still going to smell for months because the concrete has now soaked it up," resident Catherine Becket told CTV Toronto.
Becket said she's worried about the lasting impact all the bacteria will have on the area.
Curbside collection resumes its regular schedule on Tuesday.
The strike appears to have put a serious dent in Toronto Mayor David Miller's popularity.
A new Strategic Counsel poll has found that 58 per cent of Torontonians are less likely to vote for Miller in the next election,
The poll, conducted for CTV and the Globe and Mail, surveyed 750 Torontonians between Wednesday and Friday.
The survey also found that 78 per cent of respondents do not believe that city workers should be able to bank sick days.
The banking of sick days was a major issue during the strike. Under the new deal, new hires will not have that option but employees that have been on the job for more than ten years can either accept a buyout or keep banking their unused sick days until they retire.
The poll results show that 61 per cent of respondents believe the city gave up more than the union in the deal and 66 per cent say they believe the city is on the wrong track to recovery.
One irate resident told CTV Toronto on Saturday he's frustrated with the impact the strike has left on the city.
"I guess I'm glad they're having the sick days because for what they now have to clean up, they may very well need them," he said.
With a report from CTV Toronto's James MacDonald