Regional District of Nanaimo’s solid waste management select committee is expected to vote on whether to amend a bylaw to allow municipal solid waste from Lasqueti Island. (News Bulletin file)

RDN voting whether to accept garbage from Lasqueti Island

If approved, $15,000 annually expected for Regional District of Nanaimo coffers

The Regional District of Nanaimo is looking to take garbage from Lasqueti Island at its waste facilities.

After approving a request for the Qathet Regional District that includes Lasqueti, the RDN solid waste management select committee will vote on a motion Thursday afternoon to amend a tipping fee and solid waste disposal bylaw that would lead to allowance of municipal solid waste from the island, located northeast of Parksville.

If the amendment is approved, Lasqueti will be charged $150 per tonne, which includes a 20 per cent premium, and the fee will increase to $156 per tonne in July, when new rates take effect. Lasqueti’s annual per capita disposal rate is estimated at 125 kg per person and the RDN anticipates 100 tonnes of waste annually, which would lead to an estimated $15,000 annually.

Revenue would cover the cost of disposal and as a result, would not affect RDN taxpayers, a staff report said. Larry Gardner, RDN solid waste services manager, said it is the same fee for people bringing waste to RDN waste facilities, with the 20 per cent surcharge added on.

“There’s some materials, like asbestos, that we’ve agreed to take from Cowichan regional district and same thing, we charge an additional fee,” said Gardner. “So there’s a few select wastes we’ll accept from out of the region. Where we’ve done that, we have charged a 20 per cent premium over what we charge our own residents and this fee is in line with that principle.”

RELATED: RDN tipping fees set to go up in July

READ ALSO: RDN targets 90 per cent diversion

Waste would be accepted until March 2026, which would allow for time to evaluate the agreement, according to Gardner.

“So if [QRD] were to contract a service, quite often a five-year timeline is justifiable for a contracted service for them to set up facilities,” said Gardner. “We wanted also to account for them to actually get something in place and then have a long enough time that it may be worthwhile contracting a service if they choose to do that and then an opportunity for a future board to consider how it’s going.”

While there is already support for Lasqueti’s request, the amended bylaw, if approved by the committee, would still need board approval.

Ben Geselbracht, solid waste select committee chairman, said he is in favour of the motion.

“The waste that’s generated on Lasqueti Island, that we would be taking, is a fraction of a fraction of a per cent of our total annual intake … historically, a lot of their garbage does come into the RDN landfill already, so this will just formalize the relationship,” Geselbracht said.

Gardner said it isn’t currently known how the waste will be transported over, as the QRD is awaiting for approval from the RDN.

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