Vancouver businesses fear garbage ‘monopoly’ 0
Metro Vancouver’s committee on zero waste is expected to decide on Thursday whether it would require all residential, commercial and institutional garbage be delivered to the regional body’s waste facilities.
If approved, the new bylaw could mean Metro Vancouver would receive an additional $5 million annually from haulers avoiding regional facilities, an act that has such financial advantages as being able to avoid recycling requirements and material disposal bans.
Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who heads the zero-waste committee, said on Wednesday that it was only in the past several years a private hauler competed with the government facilities for trash, resulting in a potential trend of private garbage haulers not having to pay to deliver to the region’s waste facilities.
“The fact is if we don’t do something about this, this trend is going to continue and it’s going to grow,” he said.
B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO John Winter called the move an attempt to create a “monopoly,” which he said would also see tipping fees — charged at $107 per tonne of waste — increase by as much as three times.
“Right now, (waste haulers) that contract municipalities take it to wherever they can find a market,” he said.
“It’s an efficient system. It’s the private sector doing its thing. It’s competitive and it’s not costing taxpayers in the true sense.”
Brodie didn’t provide exactly how much the fees are expected to increase, but said the increase is unrelated to the proposed bylaw.
He said the delivery fees are rising “substantially” to offset reduced garbage loads due to successful recycling and sorting initiatives.
Metro Vancouver typically announces its service and garbage fee increases in the fall.