City takes first step to increasing tipping fees, adding $1,500 charge for demolition material

The Prince Albert landfill. File photo

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Staff were given the green light to bring back a proposed amendment to the bylaw governing the tipping fees that would see staggered increases in rates over the next five years The move comes following a review of the current rates.

“As indicated in our report, the analysis revealed a minimum $84/tonne at the site,” said Jeff da Silva, operations manager for the city. “Our current rate at $75/tonne is at the low end of the rates charged at similar operations. Our proposed fee at the end of our five-year schedule will put us at about the average of what is charged at other landfills.” 

Administration proposed increasing the fees by $2/tonne annually until the fee reaches $84 rather than one large increase. 

“This is to allow time for customers at the gate to absorb that cost increase as well as to provide some stability in rates over the next five years,” da Silva said. 

City residents could also see a $0.25 monthly increase on the sanitation surcharge fee on their utility bill.

“Similarly, this fee increase is meant to balance the ability of the operation to absorb cost increases over the next five years, but also to maintain a relatively small increase on utility bills,” da Silva explained. 

A bigger topic of discussion for council was what to do with charges for waste hauled in from outlying municipalities and whether the proposed $1,500 surcharge should be levied against members of the North Central Saskatchewan Waste Management Corp. 

“I thought this was the year we were going to correct North Central Waste Management. To me they’re an outside user. Nowhere in their agreement or were they ever supposed to get a deal at the landfill,” said Mayor Greg Dionne. “I don’t see why a resident of Birch Hills, just because they’re a member of North Central, should get a deal at our landfill.”

Dionne said that other municipalities have bylaws that direct residents to haul demolition waste to the Prince Albert landfill, rather than their local one. 

None of the landfills want the demolition waste as it fills up landfill cells quickly. Prince Albert has just spent $6 million to add more cells to its landfill and Dionne said none of the other users are helping to pay for capital costs. 

“No one is contributing to the capital that we just put out, the six million dollars,” said Dionne

“I actually wanted it at $2,500, I sawed it off at $1,500.” 

Other councillors were in favour of a more moderate approach and wanted to ask the other North Central members for their perspectives and more information. 

“I think this is quite reasonable,” said Coun. Don Cody. “When you look at all the other jurisdictions, I think it’s a fair deal.”

I think what’s good here is the $1,500 surcharge for people bringing in the likes of cabins from other areas. On top of that they still have to pay the tonnage. It’s a surcharge on top of it.” 

Dionne proposed the bylaw should include fees that are targeted on where the user lives and said he will be bringing back a motion to that effect at the next council meeting. 

Council passed the proposed motion but agreed that a structured rate system could be discussed for inclusion in the future. 

The changes will be brought back to council as an amended bylaw for a vote.