Cost to take out the trash going up in Courtenay

Courtenay council passed a motion on Monday to increase garbage user fees by 10 per cent for 2012.

According to a staff report, the new rate would become effective on final adoption in mid-March, but the first three readings were passed.

The residential fee per unit, including recyclables and yard waste pick-up will go from $142.30 to $156.55, a $14.25 increase, once the final adoption is passed.

The staff report shows that contractor pick-up costs have risen by 3.84 per cent and the Comox Valley Regional District approved an increase in tipping fees from $65/tonne to $80/tonne.

Coun. Starr Winchester, who represents the City on the CVRD board, expressed concern about the increase to user fees, but noted that the CVRD approved the increase to the tipping fees in November, before this Courtenay council was represented.

"I think it's too late to do anything about it this year but I'm hoping that, with my fellow directors at the regional district, that we can look at reducing some costs," said Winchester.

"I don't think that a 10-per-cent increase is acceptable and unfortunately, it was voted on in November to increase the tipping fee so we have no choice."

Mayor Larry Jangula said he'd been at some of the CVRD meetings, and noted the cost of fuel for contractors was something that's affecting the situation.

He also said tipping fees could be raised more in the future.

"Having been part of some of those meetings, $80 is not the top that they're looking at; they want higher than that," said Jangula.

Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard requested a report on the issue from CVRD representatives Winchester, Coun. Jon Ambler and Coun. Manno Theos, because she said she wanted more details.

"My understanding is that tipping fees tend to go up to try and keep in concert with what's going on in different areas close by so that people don't come and use our facilities because they're cheaper," said Leonard.

"So there could be a lot of different factors and it'd be nice to have a lot of those details."

Jangula also brought up that the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre will soon be the only landfill collecting waste from areas as far north as Zeballos, and wanted details on that issue as well.

Ambler said the representatives will "take that on as a task" and report back to council.

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