The Regional District of Nanaimo staff is projecting a two per cent increase in residential garbage and recycling collection fees next year.
Staff will be recommending the board amend Bylaw No. 1591.08 to reflect the new user fees in the 2018 Financial Plan.
The residential garbage and recycling collection program is a compulsory service set up under Local Service Establishment Bylaw No. 793.
The RDN provides collection of recycling and food waste to the Town of Qualicum Beach and garbage, recycling and food waste to all other RDN single family residences with the exception of the City of Nanaimo. The program is entirely funded by user fees.
The region’s annual user fee, except for the City of Nanaimo, for weekly food waste collection, bi-weekly garbage and recycling will go up to $130.22 next year from $127.65.
Qualicum Beach residents will see their fees go up to $85.83 next year from $84.15 in 2017.
Sonam Bajwa, zero waste co-ordinator, indicated in her report to the Solid Waste Management Select Committee at the Dec. 12 meeting, that this year there has been an increase in the amount of garbage to about 174 kilogram per household from 166 kg in 2016.
The amount of food waste collected this year also went up to 112 kg from 107 kg last year, while collection of recyclables has declined to 95 kg this year from 166 kg per household last year.
Bajwa reported that the change is believed to be a result of the RDN efforts, in co-operation with the contracted hauler Waste Connections of Canada, which operates from a facility in Parksville, to educate residents on appropriate materials separation.
Bajwa attributes the lower recycling values to wastes, considered contamination in the recycling stream, now being placed in the garbage.
Since 2010, single-family households have been receiving curbside service. Material is sorted into three waste streams: food waste which is collected weekly; garbage which is collected every other week; and recycling which is collected on the alternate week to garbage.
More than 17,000 tonnes of food waste have been diverted since the program began in 2010, Bajwa reported.
That has saved valuable landfill space and reduced the region’s landfill gas emissions by 3,501.8 tonnes, which helped the RDN achieve carbon neutrality.