Residents of Valemount may have noticed the new garbage truck in service last week; a new garbage collection bylaw to go with it was scheduled to be presented to Council on Tuesday.
Bylaw 697, 2013 Solid Waste Collection was included for first and second readings in the agenda for Council on Tuesday July 9. The Village took control of garbage collection last summer when the contractor retired, which required a review of the bylaw, operating procedures and equipment, Chief Administrative Officer Anne Yanciw wrote in a report to council.
According to the Village, the move to a more automated truck is intended to decrease the amount of lifting for staff (which is a workplace health and safety issue) and to improve efficiency in the service. The new service is intended to better reflects the cost to users, giving them more control over their costs and some incentives to decrease their waste.
Under the proposed bylaw, residents and businesses can choose from three sizes of bins to lease from the Village. They will no longer be able to supply their own bin, except for businesses that supply their own dumpster. Samples of the new bins were on display outside the Village Office, and will be leased for an annual fee of $15 to $25 each. The pickup and tipping fees vary with the size of bin. Residents and businesses could pay as little as $90 per year for the 35 gallon bin. Residents can pay as much as $185 for the 95 gallon bin, and businesses can choose up to 4 of the large bins. Currently residents are paying about $105 per year and businesses pay based on type of business, number of seats, or other factors that are not necessarily related to the amount of garbage actually produced, and are difficult to adjust.
The Village hosted an information session for businesses on July 3 at the Community Hall. Some residents have voiced concerns with leasing the bins, rather than purchasing them. By leasing the bins, residents and businesses would be able to trade in their bins to adjust their services annually (lease a larger or smaller bin) without having to buy a new bin.
At least one business owner expressed a concern with moving the wheeled bins, especially in the winter, and others expressed concerns about not being able to use the wooden bins they currently use in driveways or alleys.
Recent provincial regulations require the Village to reduce emissions and to have a system in place for recycling collection.
According to Yanciw, the new system will allow the village to maintain a “revenue/cost neutral” utility service (meaning the fees collected should cover the cost of providing the service and not more). If the system is more efficient and the village is able to cut costs, it would be easier to pass those savings on to the residents and businesses.
A public consultation meeting about the proposed bylaw and the bins is scheduled for July 18 at the Community Hall at 4:00 pm.