By Dan Rankin
In the lead up to Perth South adopting Bluewater Recycling Association’s new automated “wheelie bin” collection service, it was announced that it would be the policy of the municipality to refund those with excess garbage bag tags so they would not have to absorb the cost of unused tags. But Perth South Treasurer Rebecca Clothier explained to Council Tuesday morning that, once people began returning the bag tags in order to collect the refund, a new wrinkle emerged. “We have had a significant number of bag tags come in that were really old,” she said. “They were Banshard tags, and there are some that were ‘Blanshard-Downie’ tags.” Some they received dated back to before the township was amalgamated, while others differed from the bag tags that had been in use up until recently, as they featured the logos for both Blanshard and Downie townships on them. “We immediately stopped providing a refund so that we could understand what the value of the tags were,” Clothier said. “We went back through the minutes from Blanshard and we have evidence that the tags were given out for free… It wasn’t until they switched to Perth South tags, with the Perth South logo, that they were actually sold to residents.” Her recommendation to Council was that the bag tags be refunded only based on what ratepayers paid for them. Council accepted the recommendation and made a motion that read, in part, “no refunds will be issued for Blanshard Township garbage bag tags, or Township of Perth South garbage bag tags bearing both Blanshard Township and Downie Township logos.” The date a bag tag was purchased can also be determined through its serial number. A full $3 refund can be claimed for garbage bag tags purchased since June 1, 2015, when the price was increased from $2 to $3, according to Clothier. Bag tags purchased prior to that date, but since the amalgamation of Perth South, can returned for a refund of $2.