By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Dec. 12, 2012
Next year, more of your dollars are going to district coffers.
Squamish council voted to increase the residential waste fees by $25.
Residents will pay $145 from next year onwards, an addition of $25 on the existing utility fees.
The $25 is a two-part increase: There is the $10 fees increase for landfill tipping cost.
Then, there is the $15 for the new yard waste collection the district plans to unroll for all residents next year.
Staff said the service fees for waste utility had not kept up with the cost, and needed to be increased.
The fee, they said, had remained unchanged for several years and was last adjusted in 2010, when it was raised by $10.
The new $10 increase is a small increase, the district says.
“We believe this fee increase is modest, and most importantly fair, based on the level of service provided and the cost to deliver that service,” said Christina Moore, the district spokesperson.
They say if the residents were to pay the full tipping fees, including a share of administration cost, the fees would easily balloon to $148 per dwelling.
So, the district is going easy on you by increasing the tipping fees by merely $10 dollars, although it comes with a caveat for next year.
In the words of the bureaucracy: ‘A further adjustment may be necessary.’
In simple words: You will pay more.
“The adjustments are meant to encourage waste diversion and to cover the costs of operation of the landfill,” said Rod MacLeod, the capital projects manager for Squamish.
If it’s any consolation, the district wants you to know that even with an increase of $25 to your bill, you still pay less than other municipalities near us.
Port Alberni residents, for example, pay $200, while those in Salmon Arm pay $135. Those in Cranbrook pay $234 on residential waste fees.
The second increase of $15 on yard waste collection comes from the approval of Squamish residents, district says.
District conducted a survey of residents in September and October that focused on the yard waste pilot program.
District claims as many as 79 per cent of respondents that live in Garibaldi Highlands reported using the yard waste collection service.
Another service that might further increase the cost is the curbside collection of organic food waste.
That proposal is a few years away, but will add $75 extra to the utility bill.
The district claims 73 per cent of respondents were interested in curbside compost collection.
Only 10 per cent, however, were willing to pay fees in excess of $60 annually.