Squamish could see curb-side recycling by spring 2009, a management regime that could divert up to 20 per cent of household waste from the local landfill, said Owen Carney, operator of Carney’s Waste Systems.
“You’ve all heard me argue against curb-side,” Carney said during this week’s strategy session. “I’m changing gears.”
Up to now, Carney resisted the curb-side approach because the system entailed high costs in transporting recycled materials after processing. He’s since found a market for the materials, as well as shipper. “And that solves the problem I’ve always had.”
The recycling component is the second of three phases planned for Squamish. The third, which could come on stream in the fall of 2009, would see Carney’s collect organics at the curb, thereby diverting further waste from the landfill located in Brackendale.
“It’s somewhere we need to go,” said Councillor Patricia Heintzman.
The first phase of the strategy came into effect in 2006, when an automated truck was introduced and a battery of 65-gallon totes was distributed to residents.
In preparing his presentation, Carney said he looked to Port Coquitlam, Vancouver and Kelowna for precedent. In several instances, grants were leveraged to help cover costs.
Heintzman pressured Carney to set special rates for low-impact households in order to encourage greater environmental stewardship in the home. While he did suggest council set special rates for households exceeding standard tote sizes, he was reluctant to go the other way.
“It would be a nightmare for us to try and administer everyone trying to go smaller,” he said.
Should council move forward with Carney’s proposal, a five-year extension of his contract will be required, as will an analysis of rates. Council moved to have staff prepare reports on those issues.
Carney’s presentation also touched on bear-proofing. “We could bear proof all the bins and totes that are out there now,” he said.
The costs would be $19.20 a year, over five years, for every tote in Squamish, of which there are about 6,000.