Princeton landfill fees set to increase dramatically under proposed bylaw

Overall charges would rise 57 percent

The cost of using the Princeton landfill will increase by 57 per cent in 2019, if a new fees and services bylaw is adopted by town council.

While the bylaw – which received two readings at last Monday’s council meeting – does not set out across the board increases in tipping fees, it does restructure the way fees will be collected.

Princeton Director of Finance James Graham said the proposed rate schedule is similar to other landfills in the area which are operated by the Regional District.

“What we are trying to do is make it revenue neutral,” said Graham, adding that last year the municipality covered a $90,000 deficit on landfill operations.

Under the present bylaw, waste is accepted by the bag and truck load.

Each bag of garbage costs $2, and depending on the size of the truck the fee ranges from $7 to $15. The proposed bylaw would require waste to be weighed, with a charge of $110 per tonne and a minimum fee of $10.

“It’s a new way of thinking about things,” said Graham, noting under the current fee structure the landfill receives an average of $70 per tonne.

Graham said the new fee schedule would shift more of the cost of operating the facility to industrial and commercial users.

It would also claim premium charges. For example loads that need to be separated, contain prohibited waste, or are uncovered or unsecured will cost $500 per tonne.

Construction waste would also be accepted at $500 per tonne, and $125 per tonne for someone with a valid demolition permit.

The bylaw introduces a $110 per tonne fee for compostable yard and garden waste, beyond the first 10 bags.

Graham said that Area H residents – the RDOS pays $195,000 a year for them to use the landfill – will continue to receive free garbage bag tags.

Princeton residents with curbside pick up are allowed two free bags or cans each week, and they could continue to purchase additional tags for the curbside, at town hall, for $2 each.

The new fees and services bylaw is expected to receive its third reading at the March 4 council meeting.

The present contractor employed by the town to operate the landfill will not renew his contract with the municipality when it expires at the end of March. Graham said negotiations are underway with a new potential contractor.

Related: Princeton landfill costs could increase as town hall looks for management options

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