Metro Vancouver no long charges consistent tipping fees on every load of garbage arriving at its transfer stations. That policy continues to spawn debate over what's fair.

Metro Vancouver garbage fee overhaul criticized

Tipping fee 'chaos' in past year since province rejected regional district's attempt to ban waste shipments to U.S.

A new shakeup of Metro Vancouver’s garbage tipping fee system is being criticized as unfair.

The regional district will charge all municipalities or their contractors a flat $100 a tonne next year to dump garbage collected from single-family homes.

But private haulers that pick up from multi-family buildings will continue to pay $80 a tonne – the lowest rate for large loads under the variable tipping fees that continue for commercial waste services.

Coquitlam Coun. Craig Hodge voted against the change, calling it an unfair two-tier system.

“Out in the public, it looks like we’re favouring privatized services over city services,” Hodge told directors at the Sept. 18 Metro Vancouver board meeting.

The $80 a tonne rate for loads heavier than nine tonnes is unchanged, but the tipping fee on loads less than one tonne will rise from $130 to $133 per tonne, and the fee on mid-size loads climbs from $109 to $112 per tonne.

Metro officials argued it’s fairer to charge a flat fee on the municipal garbage so some cities don’t pay more than others under the variable rates.

Chief administrative officer Carol Mason said many cities had budgeted to pay the mid-size $109 per tonne rate, so the $100 rate is “better for many of them.”

A staff report indicates that may rise to $109 per tonne in 2017.

An additional $5 transaction fee is charged on all loads.

Metro moved to the variable rates in April to give a deep discount to large commercial haulers who had increasingly been sending waste to Abbotsford and then to a U.S. landfill because of the relatively higher cost of using Metro transfer stations. All other users have effectively had to subsidize the large loads.

The regional district had tried last year to ban the shipping of garbage out of the region, but that was blocked by the provincial government.

The outflow of commercial waste has sharply declined thanks to Metro’s price-cutting strategy, as well as the higher cost of sending garbage to the U.S. due to the weak Canadian dollar.

That’s expected to mean Metro will avoid a $4.5-million deficit previously projected on its waste operations. The regional district has also cut eight jobs and pared $2 million from the $90-million solid waste budget.

Directors say they can’t return to a consistent tipping fee structure without once again spurring haulers to go elsewhere, depriving Metro of fees and the ability to enforce bans on the dumping of recyclables.

“It’s the best compromise that we can come up with,” Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said.

He blamed the province’s rejection of Metro’s waste export ban for creating the pricing “chaos.”

Several municipalities remain concerned that the higher tipping fees charged to people who take small loads of junk to a transfer station is causing more illegal dumping.

But Metro officials say there’s been no observed increase in illegal dumping, which they estimate at as many as 50,000 incidents a year, costing local cities an estimated $3 million to clean up.

Just Posted

Van fire sends plume of black smoke into sky above Willowbrook

Vehicle a charred shell in fire that slowed Friday commute home

Police investigate apparent impaired-driving crash

Incident took place in Abbotsford on Thursday night

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Langley Rotarians work for clinics in Kenya

Local Rotary Clubs are asking locals to think of others at Christmastime.

Langley realtor uses Monopoly tournament to add to refugee group’s community chest

A fundraising tournament could be the start of an annual tradition.

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

UPDATED: Train collides with car in Maple Ridge

Mother and child both uninjured, track cleared at 11 a.m.

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

VIDEO: Pedestrian struck by vehicle caught on security camera

Incident points to danger on the roads not only in low light but also in bright sunshine

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Most Read