Disposal fees are climbing at local landfills and that has heightened concerns about illegal dumping.
The Regional District of North Okanagan board has adopted the municipal solid waste management bylaw and it will see the minimum tipping fee at the Greater Vernon, Armstrong-Spallumcheen and Lumby landfills go from $3 to $5 by 2016.
“By discouraging self-hauling, we don’t want to encourage them to do something else with it,” said director Doug Dirk of trash being left in rural areas or at the end of dead-end roads.
The increased fee is also a concern for director Bob Fleming.
“Given the frequency we see with illegal dumping, we want to keep it low because it’s more expensive to pick that stuff up,” he said.
It was suggested by director Mike Macnabb that some people in areas without mandatory collection haul their personal garbage to the closest landfill because they don’t want to hire a private contractor.
“I am a self-hauler because I had (curbside) collection and it was abysmal. They wouldn’t collect in the winter.”
In Greater Vernon, there is no mandated curbside collection in Coldstream and the electoral areas.
Minimum fees at the Cherryville and Kingfisher transfer stations would go from $3 to $4.
“People recycling so much and they go there with just two bags. They may say it’s $4 and they may decide not to recycle,” said director Eugene Foisy, adding that a higher fee could discourage recycling.
RDNO staff insist there is a need for the higher fee.
“We need to cover scale maintenance and labour,” said Nicole Kohnert, manager of regional engineering services.
Director Rob Sawatzky, who hauls his own trash to the landfill, doesn’t believe the new fees will stop people from using the service.
“It’s so much cheaper (than curbside collection). The costs are one-third less even if you include mileage,” he said.