A Brief History of Garbage

While the average cottager is content with discussion on the weather, the fishing and grilling techniques, for the summer residents of Lake Matinenda, garbage disposal remains the hot topic of choice.

Thirty years of Annual General Meeting Minutes record an on-going concern with the containment and disposal of waste. Without roads to the over two hundred cottages on the lake, and only one access point, every resident and visitor is responsible for bagging and boating in their garbage to single dock collection area.

Seasoned residents remember the days when each family was not only responsible for getting their garbage into the boat and down to the dock, but for transporting it to the local dump as well.  Predictably this lead to the burning, burying and scattering of garbage in the woods surrounding the lake, a situation no one favored.  The Matinenda Cottage Owners Association was partially created to deal with this very problem, and they have been “dealing with it” ever since.

Eventually, dumpsters were installed and a portion of every cottager’s Association dues paid for a private contractor to collect and haul the garbage away.  Once or twice a summer, there was a “Large Item Collection Day” in which nonfunctional stoves, rusted patio furniture and the occasional kitchen sink were rounded up and disposed of.  Records show that the major concerns for this period were the number of dumpsters, the number of residents who stacked their garbage outside the dumpsters and the frequency of garbage removal.

In 2001 Lake Matinenda was annexed to the City of Blind River, and the garbage collection and removal became their headache, or so it was thought.  More current concerns relate to the location of the dumpsters (They create a negative impression as they greet each visitor to the lake), the difficulty in lifting the heavy lids and confusion over large item and hazardous waste pick-up.


Those of you sharing these concerns may wish to take note of the following:

The location of the dumpsters has been changed.  They are now located further back and basically out of sight in the upper parking lot. Critics are concerned that visitors to the lake will find this inconvenient and instead leave their refuse at the dock site. Only time will tell.

Board members are investigating alternative or additional trash containers that would be more accessible to older lake residents, while remaining impervious to hungry bears. This is a tricky proposition and thus far is unresolved. For the time being, there is a wheelbarrow at the Dock Attendant’s hut residents may borrow or you may ask an attendant to load up and take up for you. (That’s not in their job description though, so you may wish to tip them for this extra service.)

There is still a “Large Item Collection Day” and a “Hazardous Waste Collection Day” each summer, and the Board has requested the town to publicize and post these  dates more rigorously.  For residents not on the lake at these times, a phone number will be provided with which they can schedule individual pick-up of these type of items.

Garbage disposal, if you will excuse the pun, is a messy business. It is a business the Association’s board will continue to address.  However, for the good of the order and the sanity of the members, discussion of this topic in future meetings will be limited to twenty minutes.

In the meantime, pleassssssse . . . don’t mix hazardous materials in with the general garbage, don’t dump a stove by the dumpsters in the dead of night, and if you see a bag of garbage on the ground please take a moment and toss it in with yours. There may come a day when lifting those lids isn’t quite so easy for you either!!