Higher garbage fees coming

  • Mar. 25, 2009 6:00 p.m.

Islanders will likely be paying higher garbage fees soon to help pay for a new and improved recycling system, says regional district chair Barry Pages. The regional district will be adopting this year’s budget when it meets in Prince Rupert on Friday, and Mr. Pages said the budget will likely contain additional costs for recycling. “There will be areas looking at an increase and one of them will be the recycling,” he said. “We are also looking at some improvements to the landfill operation.” Those improvements include a new position based on the islands to manage the solid waste system. The regional district has advertised the position, and expects to be hiring someone soon. The plan for recycling involves moving the depot away from its current location at the landfill site. The regional district is hoping that more space and better organization will lead to more recycling and composting, reducing the amount of solid waste going to the landfill. “It’s a very inefficient system right now and this will improve it,” Mr. Pages said. “The old (recycling) bins are not made for the volumes that are out there in the community.” The regional district is applying for grants from organizations like the Coast Sustainability Trust to cover the $750,000 in capital costs associated with its proposed new recycling system. Part of the proposal involves buying a piece of property with suitable buildings for $420,000. New operating costs for the recycling depot are estimated at $145,000 a year, according to a proposal prepared by regional district grant writer Terry Vulcano. That amounts to approximately $66 a year per household, or an additional $5.50 per month on top of the $22 per month homeowners already pay for the garbage system. Mr. Pages said he believes the public is willing to pay a bit more to have better recycling on the islands. “My feeling, and I think what I’ve heard from other directors, is people would like to see an enhanced recycling program,” Mr. Pages said. “They don’t mind paying a few extra dollars if it’s for a system that works.”