District of Squamish has been subsidizing solid-waste fees for 50 commercial properties—a historical mistake it now plans to correct.
District will soon be sending letters to 50 commercial property owners who have been using the District’s residential curbside program since 1965, when they should have been hauling waste to the landfill or have hired someone to do so. Though classified as Business, Light Industry, or Utilities, they were receiving curbside collection service as would a residence in Squamish.
Since the residential collection costs less, District has essentially been giving these commercial properties a break on their solid waste bill for well over 50 years. District says these properties were not flagged as the utility information is in a different database than the BC assessment classification. That would have required significant resources to manually assess the properties, District claims. In late spring, however, the two systems will be combined.
The Community Charter stipulates that a local government cannot provide assistance to business. The District will now send the property owners a letter informing them that their property will be removed from the residential collection program. The letter will also be hand delivered to ensure tenants know about the change. Totes will be removed from the commercial properties by GFL in April this year.