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Regional District of Nanaimo residents could see garbage and recycling fees reduced

Residents of the Regional District of Nanaimo could see a decrease in garbage and recycling collection fees.

A bylaw to amend rates received support at the regional district’s committee of the whole meeting earlier this month, and if approved, the annual fee could drop to $133.20 from $147.75 for most of the regional district. Nanaimo has its own contract for waste and recycling collection and the Town of Qualicum Beach has its own contract for garbage collection but would see food scrap and recycling fees dropping to $91.80 from $106.60.

The rate decrease is attributed to the regional district board’s decision to sign on with stewardship group Multi-Material B.C. to take on the collection of packaging and printed paper, which would allow for financial incentives.

More than 27,300 households see weekly curbside collection in the region and according to Dennis Trudeau, general manager of transportation and solid waste, incentives would amount to about $34.50 per household.

Other factors in the Multi-Material B.C. deal determine whether collection fees will increase or decrease in the future, he said.

“If fuel prices go down and labour prices go down then there’s an ability in the contract that reflects that,” said Trudeau. “But generally they go up so that is the pressure on those collection fees. So in the contract, if fuel prices go up by a per cent, then there’s an ability for the contractor to increase the cost and we have to, since there’s no tax for that, then we pass that on through collection fees.”

The collection of packaging and printed paper is expected to commence on May 19 and City of Nanaimo residents are expected to see their garbage and recycling collection bills decrease $34, as the city has also signed on with Multi-Material B.C.

The regional district’s curbside collection is fully funded through user fees with services contracted out to BFI Canada.

The $133.20 rate only applies if residents in related areas pay before July 7; people paying after that will be charged $148.

Trudeau said the collection fees reflect a tipping fee increase at the Nanaimo landfill ($125 per tonne) and an anticipated increase to the ICC Group compost facility in Duke Point that will see $122 per tonne charged for food waste and $45 per tonne for yard waste. ICC Group facility fees will take effect after odour mitigation measures are projected to be complete in late spring.

The board of directors is expected to vote on the amendment at its Feb. 25 regular board meeting.

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