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

5,000 ducks race at Surrey beach

‘Ducktona’ event raises funds for Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 5

New survey aims to create a ‘vibrant downtown that all of Surrey can be proud of’

Downtown Surrey BIA’s 20/20 Vision project asks residents for input

Developer looks to build 25-storey office tower by Surrey mall

Proposed for site of former Best Buy store

Seventh lane now open on Alex Fraser Bridge

Four lanes heading southbound, three heading northbound for now

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Vancouver’s Tristan Connelly shocks the UFC world

Late replacement upsets big favourite Pereira, main event sees Gaethje stop Cerrone in round one

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

Most Read