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RDN to increase solid waste collection fees and implement user-pay green bins

The Regional District of Nanaimo is putting the lid on its no-cost green bin policy in favour of a user-pay system.

If approved, households throughout the region receiving service through the district’s curb side service (which does not include the City of Nanaimo) will be responsible for purchasing new or replacement bins at a cost of $25 per bin.

Since 2010, single family households have been sorting waste into three material streams – food waste, which is collected weekly via the green bin, and garbage and recycling, which are collected alternately every other week.

When the green bin program was introduced, the RDN purchased and distributed an initial 55,000 green bins using money from reserves, at no cost, to all district residents, including Nanaimo.

The supply is now dwindling, and district staff believe there is still merit to continue supplying curb side customers with the green bin, but at cost. An order of 1,728 additional bins has been provided for in the 2013 budget in the amount of $37,500 plus taxes.

In addition, the district has given the preliminary nod to an increase to solid waste and recycling user fees in 2013. In its report, staff indicated the increase, from $134 to $147.75 per tonne for all areas except the town of Qualicum Beach, is a result of increases in the collection service provider’s contract. Prior years’ operating surplus money was used in the 2010-12 budgets to offset the increase, but money is now spent.

RDN directors approved the recommendations at their last committee of the whole meeting last week.

In 2013, the district is undertaking a review of its solid waste management.

“There’s major changes at Multi-Material B.C., and other product stewardship programs, etc., so we’ll look at how that will affect... our progress,” said Carey McIver, manager of solid waste.

“The thing to remember is, we’re already at 70 per cent diversion rate from all sectors – we’re doing really well.”

Some directors called for more education for residents and discussions to streamline the system between private suppliers and contractors.

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