Commercial waste trucks that dump garbage at Metro transfer stations

Metro Vancouver vows to block garbage exodus

Eastbound waste trucks dodge region's tipping fees, avoid disposal bans

Metro Vancouver risks losing much of the tipping fees that underpin the region’s recycling system unless it blocks commercial waste haulers from trucking garbage east to Abbotsford.

Cost is the main reason why 50,000 tonnes of garbage is already trucked out-of-region each year, often rolling right past Metro transfer stations while adding to congestion and air emissions.

Some outbound haulers use an Abbotsford transfer station or other out-of-region landfill for as little as $70 per tonne, while Metro Vancouver’s tipping fee is $107.

The difference, officials say, is because Metro’s fees also support a full range of recycling initiatives in the region, as well as planning and administration costs.

They plan to intervene to keep the current trickle of outgoing trash from growing to a flood.

The 50,000 tonnes exiting the region translates into $5.3 million a year in lost tipping fees, but that could soar to more than $60 million if all the haulers who handle commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-family waste pickup in the region followed suit.

Solid waste department manager Paul Henderson said a full migration of those sectors, which account for 60 per cent of Metro’s 1.1 million annual tonnes of waste, would likely force the region to slash service levels while making residential homes pay a much bigger share of the system’s cost.

It’s not just money at stake but the effectiveness of Metro’s recycling rules, because customers who use outbound haulers don’t have to abide by the disposal bans Metro imposes to keep recyclable materials from being dumped.

“That material avoids the bans and prohibitions we have in place in the region to encourage recycling,” Henderson said.

Metro is expected to propose a licensing system that forces haulers to use Metro transfer stations or designated in-region private recycling operators.

Henderson said curbing the outbound flow is “critical” as the region is committed to intensify its recycling efforts to boost diversion from 55 per cent to at least 70 per cent.

“If we do nothing there is a strong likelihood we would be unable to implement all the activities and achieve the goals laid out in the solid waste management plan,” he said.

Tipping fees have steadily climbed more than 60 per cent since 2006, when they were just $65 per tonne.

But cutting them isn’t a good option, Henderson said, because they are a powerful tool to encourage recycling.

“Our system is based on full cost recovery,” he said. “We wouldn’t artificially inflate our tipping fees to further increase recycling but we believe it’s a very important tool.”

After a 10 per cent increase last year, Metro expects to keep its tipping fee frozen at $107 for 2013.

Metro’s fees are the same as the Capital Regional District in Victoria and less than the $115 in Nanaimo, but more than Calgary’s $98 or Toronto’s $100 tipping fee.

Metro will consult industry ahead of a final decision next spring on exactly what regulations to impose.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Scavenger hunt sends residents around Langley City to locate landmarks

Family-friendly activity held throughout July instead of Community Day due to COVID-19 precautions

LETTER: Langley man concerned about cross-border ditch meetings

A local resident says he sees people not social distancing along Zero Avenue

Popular Thanksgiving festival cancelled by COVID

Fort Langley’s 25th annual October street festivities are put off until 2021 to avoid spread of virus

Drive-in theatre inspires Langley pastor to create similar church service

Jericho Ridge Community Church tried out the concept Sunday, and will do it again Aug. 2

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Abbotsford school vice-principal accused of getting Instagram ‘confessions’ page shut down

@A.S.S.S.Confessions page claims school officials contacted families to find out person behind page

Recreational chinook openings leave First Nations frustrated on the Lower Fraser

Limited recreational openings for chinook on the Chehalis and Chilliwack rivers being questioned

Most Read