Trash-happy will pay more in Kamloops

Residents who aren’t producing much garbage will have a bit more cash in their pockets in 2013, compared to their trash-happy counterparts.

At its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11, Kamloops city council will set garbage, sewer and water rates for the next year.

Of the three, city staff are proposing hikes in two categories — but the extra solid-waste collection fee will apply only to those using the two largest cart sizes offered by the city.

Sustainability and environmental services manager Jen Fretz said the increase will cover increasing labour, landfill fees and fuel costs.

Fretz said staff chose to put the increase on the 245- and 360-litre bins, the largest of the four sizes offered, as a way of making collection costs more equitable.

“Currently, the larger bins are much cheaper than the smaller ones per volume,” she said.

The increase will see homeowners with 245-litre bins charged an extra $6 a year. Those with 360-litre bins will pay $22 more annually.

Those two sizes of carts cover more than half the homes in Kamloops. Of the 25,000 bins in the city, Fretz said about 11,000 are 245-litre and another 5,000 are 360-litre.

She said by increasing fees only for the largest bins, the city is hoping some residents may feel encouraged to switch to the smaller-sized units.

In its 2012 budget, council agreed to set aside $10,000 to allow residents to downsize their garbage cans for free, instead of paying the usual $50 fee to have their new container delivered and the old one taken away.

Fretz said fewer than 100 people have taken advantage of the free reduction, noting the program will continue into the new year.

Sewer rates are also set to go up by five per cent in 2013, which will cost the average household an additional $12.

The money will go to the city’s sewer-reserve fund to help cover increased operational costs when a new wastewater-treatment plant comes online in 2014.

A planned increase to water rates, however, isn’t proceeding.

According to a staff report, the city had initially planned to increase the fee by five per cent — about $27 for an average household.

However, a review of the water utility’s operating budget found some cost-cutting measures, which will offset the need for an increase.


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