Vanderhoof is looking to finally upgrade its garbage collection bylaws after more than half a century.
“Basically our bylaw was a 1958 bylaw. The way we deal with garbage and recycling is completely different now,” said Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen. “What we’re sensing from MMBC and their requirements to take waste out of the waste stream, is that there are new rules that we’re going to be required as a community to adhere to.”
Multi Material B.C. is an initiative that is looking at organizing and improving garbage and recycling practices across the province. Vanderhoof council chose to reject the last proposal from MMBC because it wasn’t designed to fit into rural communities especially northern rural communities.
“The first step was offering local governments the opportunity to enter into a contract with MMBC to provide either curbside collection or, in some cases, depot collection of packaging and printed paper,” said Vince Terstappen, Sustainability Coordinator at the Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative. “Like many municipalities, the District of Vanderhoof decided not to enter into this contract with MMBC. That decision triggered the next component of the stewardship plan, which involved issuing of a Request for Proposals from the private sector for proposals to collect recyclable packaging and printed paper.”
The Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative (NWRI) will be phased out so that larger stakeholders, such as the District and Regional District as well as MMBC, can work on a more permanent recycling solution.
NWRI will will continue to educate the community on waste reduction initiatives and community education.
“We’re also looking at the entire issue of how our community went from a small community from the Nechako River south to the top of Prince George hill and in 1983 we went to a district municipality which went from the north side of the river up into the college and Vanderview area and then over into the Markay area,” said Mayor Thiessen. “And we really want to make sure that the service we provide in waste responsibility is offered to those people as well.”
So the old bylaw needed to be upgraded in three or four different facets. It’s going to give Vanderhoof the opportunity to bring their waste management into a new setting. The last audit done at the transfer facility showed that some 70 per cent of the waste material could be kept out and recycled.
“We need to take care of that,” said Thiessen. “It’s a huge tax implication for the people of this community. Probably about $80 for every man, woman and child is spent in landfilling our waste. So we have to find ways of reducing that and making sure we’re more conscientious when it comes to our waste.”
MMBC has said that in May 2014 they want all people who produce waste to pay to recycle it. So what they’ve done is go to communities and asked for a business case of what it would cost to recycle more.
When this first came to council it wasn’t something that was compatible with Vanderhoof due to several factors including how spread out Vanderhoof is and the logistics of trucking both garbage and recycling in the district. What that meant was that MMBC’s proposal was going to cost Vanderhoof a lot to implement.
The proposal was likely made for larger centres in the lower mainland although even Prince George declined the offer.
A new business case is being developed though and the upgrades to the 1958 bylaw have yet to be decided on and implemented by the district council. The Requests for Proposals from the private sector to collect recyclable materials will be published in late January.