Garbage system will not be privatized

  • Feb. 27, 2009 1:00 p.m.

Regional district directors decided Friday (Feb. 20) not to accept any of the bids they had received to take over operation of the islands garbage system, says regional district chair Barry Pages. Mr. Pages, the mayor of Masset, said the board made the decision because neither of the two bids would have resulted in any significant savings for the regional district. The regional district has been concerned for many months about the way the islands garbage system works and how much money it costs. Directors commissioned a study which was completed last year, and had been contemplating contracting out the entire system, which is currently operated by four unionized employees and several contractors. CUPE, the union representing the four workers at the landfill site, had spoken out strongly against contracting out. The decision means they will all keep their jobs, but Mr. Pages said they would have kept their jobs in any case. Islands waste management is the biggest item in the regional district’s budget, costing close to $900,000 a year. The garbage system here will some at least one major change, however. Mr. Pages said directors did approve the hiring of an on-island manager who will oversee and improve the system. One area where directors would especially like to see improvements is recycling, he said. Mr. Pages said it’s too early to tell how the decision to hire an on-island manager will affect the waste budget. The regional district has just started to work on its 2009 budget, which must be adopted by the end of next month. In other news:. The regional district voted to donate $500 to the Edge of the World Music Festival after receiving a request.. The board has invited Enbridge to come and speak at its next meeting about its pipeline project, after hearing concerns from one director.. The regional district voted to give $3,000 to the Queen Charlotte visitor information centre to update and reprint 10,000 copies of a map and business listing for tourists.