Multi-family properties in the Town of Qualicum Beach may have to deal with recyclables on their own in the future.
The town has plans to stop provision of contracted services for the collection of recycling to multi-family properties effective April 30, 2021.
The town currently has an agreement with the Regional District of Nanaimo to provide solid waste services for single-family homes that include the collection of garbage, food waste and recycling. However, this service does not apply to multi-family properties, which are required to arrange their own collection with independent contractors.
To encourage complexes to recycle, 10 years ago the town endorsed a plan where a contractor submits a bill directly for the collection of recycling for multi-family units. Regardless of the contractor’s rates, the town charges residents the single-family rate of $2.01 per month based on the RDN agreement. It is costing the town $27,660 annually.
On the $2.01 rate, the town generates only $6,460 per year in revenue, resulting in a shortfall of $21,200 that is being shouldered by taxpayers.
The measure was intended to be temporary until the RDN is able to provide a district-wide recycling program for multi-family properties. But that has not happened, leaving the town to consider ending the decade-long subsidized recycling collection service.
Town staff looked into an alternative to cover the shortfall by increasing the rate charged to multi-family units. There are 268 multi-family complexes and it would require an increase of $79, raising the rate from $2.01 to $8.60 per unit. But staff does not recommend this option as the town needs to be consistent with other municipalities under the same contract with the RDN. As well, the suggested increase will not be fair to all as the actual cost per complex varies depending on the size and collection frequencies.