Metro Vancouver proposes readjusting garbage tipping fees in its member municipalities like Langley.
The proposed fee change, which will apply to all waste generated from single-family homes and collected by local government or contractors, would generate about $1 million annually.
Metro Vancouver will consider reinstating a $109 per tonne flat tipping fee for household garbage in a bid to make costs more equitable among municipalities and balance its budget.
The proposal, which will go to Metro’s waste committee Thursday, suggests raising the rate to $100 per tonne in 2016 and to $109 per tonne the following year, regardless of the size of the load. A $6 per load transaction fee would also be charged in recognition of fixed costs associated with managing each load.
The move, if approved, would reverse a decision in February that saw municipal loads charged a fee based on weight.
That change had been suggested to stop garbage from flowing out of the region to Abbotsford, where tipping fee charges were much lower than in Metro Vancouver. The regional district had expected to face a $4.5 million deficit in its $90-million solid waste budget if the practice continued.
But Paul Henderson, head of Metro’s waste division, said while more commercial garbage collectors are now dumping in Vancouver and controlling the region’s waste, the changes meant municipalities were paying disparate amounts for trash collection, ranging between $84 and $111 per tonne or averaging $94 per tonne. If the scheme continued, he said, the region would still likely lose money.
The proposed fee, which will apply to all waste generated from single-family homes and collected by local government or contractors, would generate about $1 million annually.
“When we proposed changes in the tipping fee in February we noticed we would be expecting a deficit over the coming years and we would have to come back with financial measures to increase stability,” Henderson said.
Municipal front-end trucks that service apartments and businesses would continue to be charged using the weight-based tipping fee structure. However, Metro is proposing to increase those fees $3 per load in 2016. This means loads up to one tonne would pay $133 per tonne and those up to nine tonnes $112 per tonne. Loads nine tonnes and over would continue to be charged $80 per tonne.
Henderson suggested in a board report that “increasing the tipping fee for large loads could result in additional waste being delivered out of the system.” The report notes that assuming there is no increase in waste migration, increase in tipping fees would result in an estimated $500,000 per year increase in revenue in the Metro Vancouver system.
Henderson said there would likely still be a small deficit in 2016 but the regional district should be able to generate more revenue once it closes the Cache Creek landfill and the Coquitlam transfer station next year.
Tipping fees are the primary revenue source to fund Metro’s regional waste disposal system.
– Kelly Sinoski is a Vancouver Sun reporter.