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City close to approving investment in solid waste collection

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Powell River Council has given first, second, and third readings on a bylaw for a new automated solid waste collection system using carts. 

A final decision will be made at the Thursday, May 20th meeting, with implementation set for the fall of this year.

“This is great news for Powell River residents and City staff,” said manager of operations, Rod Fraser. 

“From what we heard in our community engagement, residents will be happy to see the removal of the garbage tag system. Wheeled waste carts are easier for residents to manage, less accessible to animals and keeps neighborhoods more attractive, and staff are looking forward to safer collection procedures.”

Under the bylaw, the city will buy new waste carts and distribute them to all single-family homes during a phased-in program. 

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The estimated cost for implementation is $534,000.

Each home will be given a 120 litre cart with an option for large families to purchase an additional one and pay an additional fee. 

Multi-family dwellings will be provided one 360 litre cart for every three units within the building. 

The city says fewer carts but bigger size “will allow the same volume for disposal for residents with less carts to be stored.”

People with mobility challenges may not be able to meet waste cart location requirements for curbside collection. 

“To keep with the automated program and for the safety of our collection staff, a decision will be made by the roads supervisor after a site assessment,” the city said in a release.

The city says the elimination of the garbage tag fee will result in increased fixed annual rates “to offset the removal of the garbage tag revenue.” 

The fees for taxpayers with no bag tag requirements include an annual levy of $120, an increase of $41, or equivalent to the cost of 22 garbage tags. 

The levy will be included in the homeowner’s property taxes and will not take effect until 2022.

“The proposed increase results in less cost to a homeowner who uses the service biweekly,” Fraser said. 

“Households that regularly put out one bag a week will see larger cost savings. The new program will result in efficiencies as the number of individual tag transactions will be greatly reduced. Tag distribution to outside retailers will also be reduced, resulting in staff time savings. The reduction for plastic trash bags should please all.”

To see the full report on the new automated solid waste collection system, go here.

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