Metro Vancouver plans to trim its garbage tipping fee by $2 to $105 per tonne next year.
The waste fee had shot up sharply in recent years, largely because waste volumes have fallen since the 2008-09 recession, forcing all other users to pick up a larger share of regional garbage disposal and recycling costs than before.
Metro managers say regional waste volumes have now stabilized and they can afford to cut the fee since the function is running at a surplus.
Surrey Coun. Marvin Hunt wanted to keep tipping fees at $107 to encourage recycling and because waste handling costs are forecast to climb much higher in the years ahead.
“That gives a solid indication to business that want to invest in recycling that the number isn’t going to go all over the place,” he said at Metro’s zero waste committee.
If there’s extra money, Hunt suggested it could go to helping cities deal with illegal dumping along rural roads.
Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay and Vancouver Coun. Andrew Reimer also backed a tipping fee freeze but they were out-voted.
Tipping fees were jacked $10 last year from $97.
Even with the $2 reduction they will be 60 per cent above 2006 levels.
Waste flows in Metro have declined from 1.3 million tonnes per year before the recession to about one million now.
Another reason Metro planners support a tipping fee cut is because some commercial haulers are increasingly taking loads out of the region to Abbotsford, where they can save about 40 per cent by using a private transfer station.
Solid waste manager Paul Henderson said Metro wants to take some pressure off haulers who continue to use Metro transfer stations and pay tipping fees that support recycling here.
Regulations will be proposed next year to ban the commercial hauling of waste outside Metro Vancouver.
Maple Ridge residents will pay $109 per tonne next year due to an extra $4 levied there to fund recycling.
Dumping at the Matsqui Transfer Station in Abbotsford will cost $105 per tonne plus a Fraser Valley Regional District levy of $1.55 per tonne.
Metro is also chopping its mattress recycling fee from $20 to $15 per mattress, saying that more accurately reflects the costs.
Officials hope the lower fee will reduce the problem of illegal dumping of old mattresses, which became much worse since Metro banned them from the landfill in 2011 and imposed the $20 charge at its transfer stations.