Residents of Cote-Des-Neiges-NDG may have noticed filthier than usual streets, with recycling collection facing steep delays. On Sunday, Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery warned that the situation may continue to be dire for another three weeks.

At the heart of the issue is the failure of one of the two companies contracted to pick up the recycling to do what they’ve been hired to do, said Montgomery.

“It’s been very frustrating. They haven’t been doing their job, basically. We’ve fined them several times, we’ve talked to those in charge,” she said. “Unfortunately, the recycling has been piling up and this week, it’s come to a head.”

On Sunday, the borough called in its blue collar workers to pick up the slack, with the hope being they would finish the job by that night.

“They started at 7:00 a.m., we’ve got six trucks out on the road right now picking up all these piles of recycling,” said Montgomery.

The mayor accused Ricova, the contracted company, of submitting a bid they couldn’t live up to in an effort to get the city contract.

“The companies submit a bid and we have to take the lowest bid. Ricova underestimated what it would cost them. They started doing the job, realized ‘Oh, we’re not making any money on this so we’re just going to stop doing the job,’” she said. “It doesn’t work like that.”

A new company has been selected but before they can begin work, the borough council must vote to approve the contract. With the next council meeting scheduled for Aug. 20, Montgomery said she hopes to take advantage of a rule allowing the borough to reward a contract for under $100,000 in the meantime.

 “What we’re trying to do now is give a contract to the new company that will take us between now and when they start the official contract,” she said. “For the next three weeks, it’s going to continue to be difficult. We may not have pick up, we may have to call in our blue collars again to do the job.”

She advised residents to try and cut down on their recycling or to store items indoors if possible, but said she believes the situation will be resolved by July 30.

As for Ricova, Montgomery said she hopes the company will soon pay the fines that have been levied to offset the blue collar workers’ overtime.