Spallumcheen Coun. Joe Van Tienhoven knows when it’s recycling day in the township.
He leaves his home in McLeod subdivision and sees blue bags galore stuffed full at the end of driveways, ready for pick-up. The township is the only North Okanagan community still with blue bag recycling service and will continue that for another year after agreeing to a one-year contract renewal with Tip-It Waste Solutions.
“Everybody pays for it,” said Mayor Janice Brown. “There’s so much controversy about the other (blue box) programs, I get lots of calls from our residents saying how great our program is. It’s affordable. People like it.”
The township entered into a two-year curbside blue bag agreement with Tip-It in May 2015 to provide services for collection, hauling and processing recyclable materials from single family dwellings within the curbside collection area. The current cost for the blue gag service is $6,000 per month.
Tip-It proposed a one-year renewal at a proposed rate of $6,575 per month effective May 21, which council unanimously agreed to (though Coun. Todd York was absent from the meeting).
“The contractor has expressed that the $575 proposed rate increase is the result of an increase in tipping fees by processing facilities from approximately $80 per tonne to $125. per tonne,” said interim chief administrative officer Amy Vienneau.
“These tipping fees are driven by the market for recyclables and are required to process the recyclable materials.”
Coun. Christine Fraser asked if staff knew the amount of tonnage collected by Tip-It.
“It’s a large increase per month,” said Fraser. “It would be nice to know what our tonnage is.”
The cost of the curbside blue bag program is recovered directly by user fees, and the rate change would mean the annual fee for residents would increase from $39.07 to $41.22.