Today’s Poll

Nod given to increasing cost for curbside waste management service

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
January 17th, 2022

The management of waste in the city is going up again.

City council passed third reading on the bylaw to bump the cost for curbside waste recovery in 2022 by $25 to fund the organics diversion program.

That means the estimated cost per household for curbside service (including organics) in 2022 will be $100 (not including the capital costs), said city chief financial officer Colin McClure.

“This is to ensure that rates are set at a level that ensures adequate funds are available to cover the annual operating expenses as well as contribute to the equipment reserve to fund future capital needs for this service,” he said in his report to council.

The money covers collection costs and the disposal fees paid to the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK). Staff presented an overview of the actual 2021 and projected 2022 operating revenues and expenses during the Jan. 11 regular council meeting.

The 2022 budget included additional revenue of $105,000 to be funded through a $25 increase to the annual single family dwelling fee for Environmental Health Services. Surpluses from the budget are to be directed to the recycling reserve, which will be used to help fund the capital component of an organics diversion program, such as pre-treatment devices.

The 2022 budget also includes administration and education expenses related to an organics diversion program.

The per garbage bag (tag) rates in 2022 for a single family dwelling will remain at $1.75 charge, which is unchanged since 2021.

“The City of Nelson’s rates are still reasonable when compared to neighbouring communities such as Castlegar where the annual garbage and yard waste fee is $158 (with no tag fees), but does not yet include a provision for funding organics collection,” McClure wrote in his report.

Climbing costs

Other costs include:

• increase to wages will be based on previous years actuals and the two per cent bargained wage increase;

• an inflationary increase of 1.75 per cent has been applied to the operational expense budget from 2021;

• new for 2022 is the inclusion of administration and education expenses related to the organics diversion program; and

• surplus funds to be transferred to the recycling reserve, to help fund capital (pre-treatment devices).

Source: City of Nelson agenda

Although the regional district (waste) and RecycleBC — printed paper and packaging materials — are responsible for disposal of waste and recycling materials, the city does provide residential curbside collection.

Organics diversion

The city is still looking to develop an efficient, cost effective, city-wide organics diversion program, utilizing a pre-treatment model with curbside collection.

There is potential grant funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in the amount of $375,000, and a $500,000 grant from the Columbia Basin trust (CBT), that could assist in funding the initial roll-out of the program, said McClure.

The application for the FCM grant will be finished later this month — with a decision in May — while the final stages of the review for CBT funding are underway and should be complete in late February.

“These decisions, along with further information from an request-for-proposals on pre-treatment devices, and analysis from the Climate and Energy department, will help form a more complete picture of the program cost and benefits,” said McClure.

Categories: General

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