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COQUITLAM— A new poll shows strong support among residents receiving curbside garbage collection for switching to city provided garbage and recycling services rather than a private contractor.

The poll results clearly demonstrate that citizens want much better quality solid waste service,” said Blair Redlin, National researcher for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which commissioned the poll. “They believe they will get the reliable garbage and recycling services they deserve when that service is provided directly by the city.”

The survey is consistent with media coverage reporting poor, solid waste and recycling service in recent years. Reports have cited incidents of garbage and recycling not being picked up on schedule and, when it is picked up, that the private contractor often misses bins and leaves trails of garbage littering neighborhood streets.

“To make matters worse”, Redlin said, “more than half of the residents experienced problems such as damage to their garbage containers and misplaced lids or bags.”

The poll found that 2/3 of respondents reported their garbage and recycling had not been picked up on scheduled days, sometime in the past 12 months. In a particularly alarming result, more than 14 per cent of respondents reported that they or a member of their household had seen a bear around the garbage outside their home.

“The poll underlines what residents have been saying all along: that they want dependable and accountable services delivered by the city,” said Redlin.

Strategic Communications Inc. conducted the poll of 404 Coquitlam residents 18 years and over who have outside garbage or recycling collection at their homes between September 24 – October 6, 2008. The topic of the poll was Coquitlam garbage and recycling services. A survey of this magnitude yields results that are considered accurate to within plus or minus 4.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Contact:        Murray Bush, CUPE Communications, 604-291-1940, 778-554-2234 - cell