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Courtenay, BC V9N 3P6
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February 14, 2014
At the February 13th, 2014 Comox Strathcona waste management (CSWM) board meeting, directors had to make some difficult decisions around increasing tipping fees to address the significant financial shortfalls in the recommended budget for 2014.
The board approved a recommendation to update bylaw 170 “schedule of fees and charges”, effective July 1st, 2014, by including a site access fee of $4/vehicle at both the Comox Valley and Campbell River waste management centres. There will also be an increase in the minimum load charge from $4 for loads weighing not more than 60 kilograms to $6 for loads weighing not more than 100 kilograms. As well, the fees for clean fill (soil, turf or clean debris suitable for landfill cover) will be raised from $5/tonne to $15/tonne.
The need for additional revenue is driven mainly by the decreasing amount of material being disposed of at the landfill and the increasing operational and capital costs for the service. Over the next several years, funds are required to construct the new engineered landfill at the regional waste management centre in the Comox Valley, address landfill closures within the region and support environmental compliance regulations by addressing leachate and landfill gas management.
It was recognized that increasing tipping fees alone would not be sufficient to balance the financial plan for 2014-2018, therefore, it was also recommended to temporarily suspend the wood waste and drywall diversion programs effective immediately and amend the drywall fee from the current rate of $200/tonne to $110/tonne as this material would become an aggregate of construction and demolition debris.
“For the vast majority of the residents who use the waste management centres, the tipping fees will still remain affordable,” said the CSWM board chair, Edwin Grieve. “The new site access fee would not be applicable to those using the recycling bins or dropping off grass and leaves. The implementation of a site access fee is a common approach used by other facilities on Vancouver Island and it makes sense because there’s a cost to providing services like the scrap metal drop-off and permanent household hazardous waste stations.”
The CSWM board approved the recommended 2014 – 2018 financial plan and it will be included in the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) budget bylaw that will go forward for adoption at the end of March. The recommended financial plan will be posted to the CVRD website in early March. Some frequently asked questions about the solid waste financial plan are located on the website at www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/cswmfaqs.
The Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) service is a function of the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and is responsible for two regional waste management centres that serve the Comox Valley and Campbell River, as well as a range of transfer stations and smaller waste-handling and recycling facilities for the electoral areas of the CVRD and the Strathcona Regional District. The CSWM service manages over 100,000 tonnes of waste and recycled material and oversees a number of diversion and education programs.
Tom Boatman, senior manager of solid waste services
Comox Valley Regional District