Landfill rates rise for those who don’t recycle

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

If you don’t want to remove recyclable materials from your waste, you will be paying more at Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Landfills beginning January 1, 2020.

In the New Year, the rate for mixed loads (refuse mixed with recyclables) at all CSRD landfills and transfer stations will be increasing from $160 to $240 per tonne at scaled facilities and $25 to $30 per cubic metre at unscaled sites. The increase is designed to provide a financial incentive for removing recyclables from waste.

If the loads are properly separated, the refuse disposal rate remains unchanged at $80 per tonne at scaled facilities and $12 per cubic meter at unscaled sites.

If your load contains recyclable materials mixed in with garbage, the entire load must be landfilled which costs more. For 2020, this means those who choose not to separate out recyclable material will pay a rate three times greater than the regular refuse disposal rate.

Earlier this year, the CSRD Board voted in favour of the rate increase, which forms a part of the CSRD’s strategy to reduce waste and prolong the lifespan of landfills across the region.

“The current rate of $160 has not been a strong enough financial deterrent to ensure recyclables are being separated out of the waste at our refuse disposal,” says Ben Van Nostrand, Team Leader of Environmental Health.

During a recent public engagement process regarding a proposed curbside recycling program in Electoral Area C, residents in that area sent a strong message to the CSRD that those who are not recycling should face financial penalties, while those who do recycle properly should not be penalized.

“The rate increase is very specific and options exist to avoid paying the higher rate. If you want to pay less, separate the recyclables from your waste,” adds Van Nostrand.

The CSRD is not ruling out additional price increases for the mixed load waste rate if users continue to mix recyclables with refuse. CSRD staff plan to increase their presence at sites in 2020 to conduct waste audits and decide if the increased cost is having a positive effect on diverting recyclables from the landfill. For a complete list of recyclable materials please visit the CSRD’s website.

Photo: Mixed waste at the Salmon Arm landfill. 

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