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Garbage fee increases roll out April 1st

A garbage truck collects in the East End Channel area of Port aux Basques on Friday, Jan. 15. Residential dwellings with less than three units will not see a fee increase, but apartment buildings and some businesses will have to pay more starting in April. – J. René Roy / Wreckhouse Press

PORT AUX BASQUES – The Marine and Mountain Zone Waste Management Committee (MMZ), under Western Regional Waste Management (WRWM) has determined that it is necessary to increase garbage fees for commercial, government, institutional and multi-residential property owners in 2021. Residential fees and smaller businesses will stay the same.

Coun. Melvin Keeping reported on the decision during a Town Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18, noting that local service districts and other communities within the region had been informed the previous evening.

“This was supposed to have been implemented last year,” noted Keeping. “The decision was made that we would leave it as is until COVID was over but now that it’s a year later, basically, we’re starting to implement these fees.”

Keeping explained that the increases were necessary because of the discrepancy in volumes between a single unit dwelling and a multi-unit apartment building, which are currently paying the same rate of $160 per year.

“A person who’s got an apartment building with 10 units, all last year, paid the same as what I was paying,” cited Keeping as an example.

Before deciding to increase the fees, the committee reviewed waste tonnage collected, associated tipping fees, and operational costs such as equipment and maintenance.

Keeping said that maintaining the aging garbage truck has been one of the larger costs associated with collection in this region. He noted that the poor road conditions throughout the region, including Codroy Valley, don’t help either.

Town Manager Leon MacIsaac noted that the town spent in excess of $140,000 to keep the truck in service last year.

“Under the current fee structure that’s not sustainable,” noted MacIsaac.

Port aux Basques did get one new truck last year and a second is scheduled to be delivered this November, and Keeping hopes that will help significantly reduce maintenance costs.

“When you’re transporting garbage all over creation, to Norris Arm, it’s going to cost you money and it’s a money pit. It’s not going to end,” said Mayor John Spencer. “We’ve got to find a waste disposal site on the West coast.”

The 2021 fee structure rolls out on April 1 as follows:

Residential fees (less than three units) will remain the same at $160 per year. Owners of residential properties containing three or more dwelling units, such as apartment buildings, will be obliged to pay $160 annually per unit.

Small, independent, locally owned and operated businesses that produce less than 10 bags of garbage per week will not have their collection fees of $160 per year increased.

Businesses that produce between 10 and 15 bags of garbage per week will double to $320 annually. Mid-sized businesses that produce 15 to 30 bags every week will triple to $480 per year.

Mid-size to larger businesses, designated as Class 4 Commercial, that produce 30 to 60 bags per week will be obliged to pay $53.32 per month, which works out to $640 annually, which is four times the current rate.

Private RV parks or campgrounds that produce in excess of 100 bags of waste per week will have to pay a collection fee of $2,500 per year. This fee will be reviewed by MMZ on an annual basis to determine if any further adjustment is needed.

Government and educational buildings will increase to $1,000 annually. Institutional properties such a senior homes and care facilities will pay $7,500 per year. MMZ will also review these fees annually.

A business that wishes to opt out of the collection service and avoid paying the associated fee must notify the town in writing no later than March 1, 2021.

If a business does choose to opt out, it will be obliged to transport its own garbage to the Cape Ray Waste Transfer Station and pay the tipping fee, which will remain unchanged at $164 per tonne.

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