Curbside recycling paired with garbage collection

100 Mile, 108 residents polled on potential program

One-stop curbside garbage and recycling pickup may be coming to 100 Mile House and 108 Mile Ranch as early as next spring.

Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Area G Director Al Richmond says the CRD and District of 100 Mile House are now polling residents to see if they have a desire to participate.

“We are kind of excited there is a potential to provide this service, if people want it.”

The new Multi Material BC (MMBC) program is offering these local governments money to operate the program, Richmond explains.

Otherwise, he notes MMBC, a not-for-profit consortium funded by industry, will seek tenders for this local service provincially.

“Because the funding was there, and there is potential to have locally based companies to do the job, we thought we would poll the residents first to see what they wanted to do.”

If a sufficient desire is shown in the survey results, then the CRD will pursue tenders for solid waste pickup service at 108 Mile Ranch, from both its current service provider and another local waste contractor.

Richmond explains this is a change of stance for the board (which he chairs), as it had previously planned to sit back and let MMBC run it because the program had been deemed “far too expensive” for the CRD’s budget.

“Subsequently [on Oct. 21], we got a proposal that brought the price into line where we could, with no increase in our budget for the 108 residents, provide this service.”

The majority of the increased costs would be covered by the Extended Producer Responsibility program for packaging and printed paper (PPP), run by Multi Material BC.

Richmond adds if the local governments go ahead with the program and contract this out themselves, the CRD will see no taxation hit at all.

The regional district would apply federal/provincial gas tax funding to buy large, wheeled garbage/recycling can “totes” for 108 Mile Ranch residents, he says, one for household garbage and another for mixed recyclables.

The totes are designed for trucks with mechanized lifts, so the operator isn’t required to lift or carry them, Richmond explains.

Residents would have no need to sort recyclables, but rather the plastics, cardboard, paper and metal food cans could be all mixed together.

The totes would need to be wheeled to the curbside on pickup days. Garbage pickup would occur every week, as it is now, with recycling collected every other week.

District of 100 Mile House administrator Roy Scott says its residents would see a minimal tax increase to run a similar local MMBC program, but would also be provided with totes at no extra cost.

He notes that after the CRD’s tender process, 108 Mile Ranch may end up with a different contractor collecting the totes than 100 Mile House.

“[Even] if we are going to change the scope of work we have, we must stay with our current contractor.”

That’s because the district has several years left on its standing contract, Scott explains.

However, he notes different contractors wouldn’t be nearly as cost effective as using the same company.

The earliest this program could take place is May 2014, but Scott says it may be later, or MMBC may take it over, or nothing at all might happen – such as if the submitted tenders are not satisfactory.

Scott adds the local governments are trying to take advantage of programs and funding when they are offered.

“We wanted to determine if there is an appetite here, if people actually want this in their community. Whether we use that information today, or two years from now, or five years from now, that information is valuable to us.”

Richmond notes the survey responses are needed by Nov. 12, as the regional district and the municipality must decide quickly if they want to take advantage of these subsidies from industry.

“If we don’t act now, then we would lose the opportunity.”

The survey has been sent out to area residents, and is available to download online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/TXYSKLZ.

See also page A19 in today’s Free Press or Friday’s Cariboo Connector.