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Sunday, April 03, 2016

Clean-up, Burn Permits & Waste Collection

In putting together our last post, I was caught up in the romance of early spring and chose to ignore the rocky moments of the relationship.  We were lucky to escape the damage that our neighbours to the south suffered during the recent ice storm but it did serve as a reminder.  This season that embraces us with warmth and serenades us with birdsong can be a cranky suitor with a practical side too.  Let’s get some of those matter of fact issues out of the way this time around so we can get back to the courtship.  Despite the snow on the ground as I write this morning, it won’t be long until we’re cleaning up our yards and enjoying warm summer evenings around the fire.

We’re foregoing an organized spring clean-up day this year.  Most residents tidy up areas adjacent to their own properties.  Please remember that ditches play a big part in keeping the lake healthy.  Reeds and other natural growth provide a filter for run-off that travels through them on its way to the lake so grab the garbage, but leave the leaves.  To maintain other areas, we ask that you consider taking along a bag and pair of gloves when you head out for a stroll on the warmer days to come.  If even a few of us make a habit of picking up bits of refuse along the way we’ll keep our community litter free year round.

There are a couple of changes to the acquisition of burn permits to pass along.  Effective February 1, 2016, there is a fee for Recreational Burn Permits of $15 per calendar year.  For the first time, permits may be obtained online using a major credit card.  Visit the Springwater Township website to get yours.  Under the Municipal Services menu, click on Fire & Emergency services.  On the left hand side you’ll find a link to the Burn Permits page.  You’ll need to have your property roll number (found on your tax bill) at hand and be sure to click the check boxes beside each of the conditions for recreational fires.  Permits can also be obtained at 2303 Ronald Rd, Minesing (Station 3) or 2231 Nursery Rd, Minesing (Township Administration Building) between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) or at any of the three library branches (Midhurst, Elmvale and Minesing) during regular business hours.  Rural open air burn permits also incur the $15 fee but are not available online and must be purchased at either Station 3 or the Township Administration Building.

There was a bit of confusion in our neighbourhood regarding the County’s Easter weekend waste collection when pick-up was cancelled on Good Friday due to the storm.  This temporarily created the impression for some that there was actually a scheduled one day delay due to the holiday.  By ‘some’, I mean me.  Usually the County’s waste management calendar hangs in the garage but we didn’t receive one this year.  Currently, I’m not sure whether we were simply missed or if the County has discontinued distribution of the traditional paper copy.  However, the situation did lead to all kinds of new discoveries when I checked the County website.  From the home page, I found my way to Waste Management Services through the Services tab at the top.  There, I clicked on ‘When is my collection day?’ in the sidebar menu.  On that page there are a host of options.  Viewers can download and print a copy of the calendar, which was my original intent until I saw that I could sign up for weekly reminders and notifications about changes to collection via email, phone or Twitter.  There’s also an option to add the collection schedule to your personal calendar if you use iCal, Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook.  Technology often drives me crazy, but this is one of its better uses.  For those without access to either a hard or digital copy, please note that yard waste collection will begin April 25, and continues every two weeks until the week beginning June 6.

If the weatherman has his facts straight, we’re in for a week or so of lower than average temperatures but after that we should be seeing real spring in all its glory.  It’s a time of plans and projects, so use the coming days to organize so you’re ready to get outdoors and enjoy when it arrives.

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