The closure of the Cache Creek landfill—operated by Wastech Services—on December 31 will mean major changes for area residents, as the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) steps in to take over operation of the existing residential drop-off (RDO) location at the site.
The landfill ceased accepting solid waste from Metro Vancouver in July 2016. It will continue to receive local garbage—residential and municipal—from Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and western TNRD landfill stations until December 31, when the landfill will cease receiving any garbage.
As of January 1, 2017 the TNRD will be operating an RDO at the site, where residents and businesses can drop off most types of solid waste and recyclables. Winter hours of operation will remain the same: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. However, disposal fees will be charged to all users of the site beginning on January 1.
The fees will be in keeping with TNRD bylaw no. 2465, as well as the TNRD’s regional solid waste management’s philosophy of user pay. Because there will be no scales at the Cache Creek RDO, household garbage will be charged at $1 per bag or $10 per pick-up load. The same disposal fees have been charged at all other TNRD landfills and transfer stations for the past 10 years.
“We’re trying to spend as little as possible, as we don’t know how long the facility will be needed,” says Jamie Vieira, manager of environmental services for the TNRD. He is referring to the fact that an operational certificate for a proposed landfill extension is currently under discussion, but has yet to be issued. Should the operational certificate be issued, a landfill extension would be constructed at the site, operated by Wastech. It is not known what fees, if any, would be charged to users of the extension.
“We’re doing everything possible to keep the service level the same as has been previously offered,” says Vieira. While he notes that the TNRD will be piggy-backing off existing facilities, it will also be offering services that it has not offered here before.
“The capital costs for upgrades and operational costs will be $200,000 to $400,000 a year to the TNRD solid waste management system. This will be added to the costs to all electoral areas and municipalities within the TNRD.
“Because of the unique nature of that landfill agreement [with Wastech], there were no tipping fees. The TNRD did not operate the facility, which was outside our system. But [as of January 1] there will be no place to take garbage unless the TNRD steps in. If we stepped in and didn’t charge fees it would be unfair.”
Editor’s note: Jamie Vieira will be at a Community Forum in Ashcroft at 7 p.m. on November 3 to discuss, and answer questions about, the changes to the Cache Creek landfill.