Public Drop-Off, Library Services, and GRCA Parks Are – Slightly – Reopening

If you have a lot of garbage lying around, and no way to get rid of it, then you will be happy to hear that the public drop-off will soon be open again in a limited capacity in the very near future. Also returning to some kind of normalcy, and just in time for the long weekend, will be access to parks and trails government by the Grand River Conservation Authority. For further good news? Get ready to be able to borrow from the library again.

First, public drop-off will be open again on Tuesday May 26 for garbage and hazardous waste, but not recycling, yard waste or reuse. The new hours will be 9 am to 4:30 pm from Tuesday to Friday, and 8:30 am to 4 pm on Saturday.

“Now that we’ve made some site changes to promote physical distancing and put measures in place to protect visitors and employees, we can slowly reopen some services to the public,” said Kealy Dedman, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services, in a statement. “We’ll have to limit the number of people on the site, so we expect long lines and wait times; we’re asking people to be patient.”

When public drop-off finally re-opens there will be new rules. Only one person will be allowed at a time when possible, but there will only be a maximum of two. People are encouraged to wear face-coverings or masks, and observe social distancing at all times by staying at least two-metres apart. Cash will not be accepted, so have your debit or credit card ready, and bring full loads with household chemicals in front so that they can be removed first.

If your lockdown issue is more about not having anything new to read, the Guelph Public Library will be making itself available for curbside pick-up once they clean and sanitize all the library buildings and train the staff on the new health and safety protocols.

“While the physical library buildings remain closed to the public, the Guelph Public Library is still finding ways to get library materials into the hands and homes of Guelph readers through our virtual services,” said Steven Kraft, Guelph Public Library Chief Executive Officer in a statement.

No date has been set for the resumption of library services, but an announcement will be made on the library’s website when they’re ready.

Then Grand River Conservation Authority has also taken a furtive step to re-opening by announcing Friday that sections of certain trails and parks will be open for recreational activities starting this weekend. Fishing and boating are not permitted, and the campgrounds will not be open, but walking and birdwatching are perfectly acceptable.

“The GRCA recognizes the importance of access to nature for community health and wellbeing. Our board has been hearing from many watershed residents and we know they are eager to be in nature,” said GRCA board chair Helen Jowett in a statement. “GRCA staff are taking a responsible approach to reopening properties, doing so in stages, while maintaining critical services.”

  • Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail
  • Brantford to Hamilton Rail Trail
  • Elora Cataract Trailway
  • SC Johnson Trail
  • Laurel Creek (Waterloo) conservation area
  • Shade’s Mills (Cambridge) conservation area

People are being asked to keep in mind thought hat all facilities and buildings on GRCA properties are still closed to the public including playgrounds, washrooms and picnic areas. Also, there are no garbage receptacles available on-site, and people are being reminded to observe physical distancing.

GRCA also announced that they will be updating its plan on seasonal camping on May 20, along with the next phase of re-openings on GRCA properties. For the latest updates and information, you can visit the GRCA’s website here.

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