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Thompson-Nicola Regional District board announces fee increase for waste disposal

Construction waste to see the biggest increase in fees
Vehicles drop off loads at the Louis Creek Eco-Depot recently. As of Tuesday, March 24, only bagged household garbage and recycling is being accepted at all TNRD eco-depots, including Louis Creek. (Keith McNeill - Barriere Star/Journal)

Thompson-Nicola Regional District residents can expect higher user fees for waste disposal in the new year.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) board recently approved the amended user fees for several waste streams, which will come into effect on January 1, 2024.

The biggest increases will be seen in the disposal of construction waste such as comingled demolition, renovation and construction (DRC), burned material and land-clearing waste.

Those fees will increase from $160 per tonne to $250/t at eco-depots, and from $20 per cubic metre to $35/ m3 at accepting transfer stations.

“This increase is more substantial, as comingled DRC often contains materials that could be disposed of for a reduced tipping fee (such as asphalt shingles and clean wood waste) or for free (such as metal),” noted the RNRD in a news release. “A TNRD waste composition study conducted in 2021 showed that 22 per cent of the DRC waste stream is compostable organics, including clean wood waste, and 5.2 per cent is asphalt shingles.”

Other waste that will see changes to tipping fees effective as of Jan. 1, 2024 include:

Refuse (garbage), noxious weeds, small dead animals, and commercial recycling:

1. Increase from $80 per tonne to $90/t at eco-depots

2. Increase from $10 per cubic metre to $11/m3 at transfer stations

Bagged garbage will continue to be charged $1 per bag for loads under 50 kilograms at eco-depots, and $1 per bag for loads under $5 by load size at transfer stations.

Concrete/ Asphalt:

1. Increase from $20 per tonne to $30/t at eco-depots

2. Increase from $20 per cubic metre to $35/ m3 at transfer stations

TNRD noted it began collecting concrete and asphalt as part of its diversion program in 2013. In 2022, the TNRD began processing concrete for the first time, and costs were substantially higher than anticipated. An increase in tipping fees for this material will ensure that these fees cover the cost of transportation and processing, noted the TNRD.

Asbestos Containing Material:

Increase from $230 per tonne to $300/t (only accepted at TNRD landfills)

“Special handling is required for asbestos abatement at landfills, including disposal application and approval, PPE for staff, and direct burial and coverage at accepting sites. Recently, WorkSafe BC has introduced mandatory training and licensing for asbestos abatement. As a result of these increased regulatory requirements, it is likely that accepting landfill sites will see an increase in confirmed asbestos loads. This increase in fees will help to cover additional costs.”

This will be the first update in several years to tipping fees for the affected waste streams, noted the TNRD, adding the regional district will continue to offer one of the lowest rates for bagged garbage for residents who are hauling it themselves.

Tipping fees are used to help operate the TNRD solid waste network, which consists of 27 facilities that require staffing, maintenance, hauling waste to destination landfills, and monitoring and post-closure costs of landfill sites. Further, the 2018 Regional Solid Waste Management Plan recommends using differential tipping fees to encourage diversion of waste from landfills.

TNRD Solid Waste & Recycling is a regional service which includes all 10 electoral areas and 10 out of 11 member municipalities.

The TNRD solid waste service is mainly funded by taxation, at approximately 70 per cent, and the remaining 30 per cent is funded primarily by tipping fees and service agreements. Tipping fee revenues contribute to the TNRD solid waste service, and any increases reduce the amounts required to be collected through property taxation.

TNRD solid waste facilities accept many materials free of charge that can be recycled and diverted from landfills, instead of being disposed of with regular garbage. These materials include household recycling, yard waste, mattresses and box springs, car batteries, tires, used oil, scrap metal, propane tanks, electronics, fridges, freezers and water coolers, clothing, paint, and small electrical appliances.