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New WCSS building gets permit

Tipping fees increasing again at Whistler Transfer Station

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The new Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) building on Nesters Road is a step closer to construction, after council approved a development permit for the project at its Dec. 6 meeting.

When it's completed in late 2017, the building will be the new home for WCSS offices and services including the food bank and Re-Use-It Centre.

The Re-Build-It Centre, meanwhile, will move into the vacated Re-Use-it Centre space in Function Junction.

WCSS will lease the space at 7600 Nesters Road from the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), while the remainder of the site will house the new RMOW garbage and recycling facilities.

After a presentation by staff, Coun. Sue Maxwell asked if the bins could be reordered to maximize opportunities for waste diversion.

"It was my understanding that by redeveloping the Nesters site part of it was to try to encourage people to divert their waste, and by doing that offering all the opportunities," she said.

"We'll be offering the Re-Use-It opportunity first, which is great, but then it should be the recycling things first, not the waste things first."

Manager of Infrastructure James Hallisey noted those specific details could be altered.

"It's certainly not cast in stone," he said.

"We need to have a conversation with our service provider Carney's to ensure that what we put in there does work from their back-of-house perspective... but we can certainly move those things around."

The proposed WCSS building is three storeys tall and will include 21 parking spaces with the potential to develop more parking as needed.

TIPPING FEES GOING UP AGAIN

As municipal costs to dispose of waste rise, the RMOW is once again increasing tipping fees at the Whistler Transfer Station.

The cost to dispose of garbage (household, commercial and construction) is going up from $130 to $140 per tonne, while mixed waste (garbage containing more than 25-per-cent recyclable materials or clean wood or yard waste) is going up from $260 to $300.

Other increases: mattresses (from $10 to $15 each), tires (from $8 to $10 per tire), invasive and noxious plant matter ($130 to $140 per tonne) and biosolids ($120 to $130).

Though the tipping fees were increased as recently as April, this new increase is required to offset "external pressures," said acting manager of waste management and transportation Andrew Tucker.

One such pressure is changes to tipping fees at other transfer stations in the region, Tucker said.

"As a best management practice, it is important to keep the tipping fees in adjacent jurisdictions similar to each other to avoid people driving up and down the highway to dispose of their solid waste at seemingly less expensive facilities," he said, adding that Pemberton has recently updated its own fees, and Squamish is proposing to do the same.

"We also have internal pressures such as increases in recycling costs that the municipality must face when disposing of the materials. We need to offset those cost increases through the increase to tipping fees," he said.

However, tipping fees for certain items will be reduced or eliminated altogether.

Appliances without refrigerant — like stoves or microwaves — will now be free to dispose of (previously $25), while disposing of dirty wood waste will now cost $80/tonne if separated from other waste (down from $140).

The bylaw was given first three readings at the Dec. 6 meeting, and Carney's will start informing customers at the transfer stations of the increases before they go into effect.

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