It’s going to get cheaper to dispose of sorted refuse — and more expensive not to — as several proposed changes come into effect in the Capital Regional District (CRD) next year.
The CRD Board voted May 10 to approve several changes in waste collection policies for 2024, meant to divert material from the active face of the Hartland Landfill as it approaches capacity. Currently, according to CRD parks and environmental services general manager Larisa Hutcheson, more than 400 kilograms of waste per person, per year is disposed of at the landfill — far above the district’s sustainability target of 250 kilograms by 2030.
“So we need to go from 400 kilograms per person a year to 250,” said Hutcheson. “Getting to our goal will necessitate a number of policy adjustments that make a real impact on residents’ behaviour, in terms of how they deal with various waste streams.”
Among those adjustments is a proposed shift in how wood products, carpet and asphalt shingles are accepted at the facility — and subsequently diverted from the landfill itself. To incentivize residents and businesses to separate these materials beforehand, tipping fees for unsorted trash will rise — and the per-tonne rate for the material the CRD wants to divert will be reduced.
These separated materials could still be brought to Hartland, where they would be transferred offsite and processed through contracts with the private sector.
“Staff are confident there are opportunities for these materials to be reused, or recycled,” said Hutcheson.
The CRD said it expects to divert 27,500 tonnes of wood, 9,000 tonnes of asphalt shingles and 4,000 tonnes of carpet and underlay each year. “General” or unsorted waste rates will rise from $110 to $150 per tonne under the current plan, with fees for renovation or demolition waste that contained recyclable materials jumping to $300 per tonne.
Treated wood products, asphalt shingles, carpet and underlay will be accepted at $110 per tonne, and untreated “clean” wood products will cost $80 per tonne to leave at Hartland. Salvaged wood — clean, unpainted and nail-free dimensional lumber over four feet in length — will be accepted free of charge.
Private or municipal general refuse haulers who collect from residential, commercial or institutional sources — and who attest to having a program in place to ensure organics and recyclable materials aren’t going into the stream — will also see fee increases, but smaller and more gradual. Those services will pay $125 per tonne in 2024 and $135 per tonne in 2025.
The CRD Board also approved implementing a graduated bylaw ticket structure with higher fines for more serious infractions and/or repeated infractions.
“Currently we have fines in the order of $50 to $100; we’re proposing $100 to $500,” said Hutcheson. “There are a number of directors that felt that might not be high enough to really effect behaviour change, or that it would just be incorporated into the cost of doing business.”
Staff will bring back a specific report on fine structure this summer, added Hutcheson, to be integrated into bylaw specifics in the fall.