Greg Laychak, The Observer
Organic waste will soon be banned from regular garbage bins of Harrison Hot Springs single family households.
Village council voted unanimously Monday night to implement a proposed organics ban and amend the current waste collection and disposal bylaw (No. 959) to incorporate the new changes.
Councillors also voted that next year’s five year financial plan include the costs of the collection bins and that a public engagement program be implemented to coincide with the planning and education.
That portion will include a public open house, newsletters and information posted on the Village website.
Bins will be ordered so that collection of organic waste could start as early as February, 2016.
The provincial government requires that regional districts address solid waste management on a region-wide scale, and in 2013 the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) adopted a new solid waste management plan.
“One of the focuses of this was diversion and reducing the amount of solid waste that was going into landfills,” said Lisa Grant, Manager of Development and Community Services during her presentation of the report. “What they’re trying to achieve is a diversion rate of 90 per cent by 2025, so this is quite a lofty goal that they’re trying to implement.”
The FVRD plan embraces a zero waste strategy that does not support incineration, but includes source separation and mixed waste materials recovery.
Other specific milestones of the plan are 65 per cent diversion by 2017, 80 per cent by 2019 and 90 per cent by 2025.
“So one of the ways of achieving this is through the removal of organic wastes through the general waste stream,” Grant said.
She added that the Harrison ban is part of the FVRD’s timeline to fully implement an organics ban by 2018 throughout the entire region.
Few cost details were available at Monday’s meeting, and a representative from the proposed service provider First Class/Alpine Valley Disposal was unable to attend to make a planned presentation.
They will return to give more information at a later council meeting and to talk about the actual service contract and what they would be providing in their service overview.
“Our service provider has provided a quote to us that would generally implement the ban at very limited or no additional cost,” said Grant. “These are still some details that we’re working out with them so we’ll be moving forward with that as well.”
There might be some financial implications however, as the program is looking at container options—one of which requires the use of 12-gallon bins that a preliminary quote has priced at $20,000.
Councillor John Hansen expressed his concern at the meeting about the inadequate size of the bins, and proposed other methods to cut expenses.
“Is there any way residents can use their existing cans instead of investing in these separate smaller bins?” he asked. “We could look at a sleeve or sticker that goes on our existing garbage cans to try to keep the costs down.”
Grant said both size and cost of bins were preliminary proposals and more options would be discussed.
And council will wait to purchase bins until after the public open house.
After questions were open to the public, attendees voiced their concern about enforcement, who would foot the bill and the burden being placed on only single family houses.
According to staff, different penalties will be discussed for those who don’t comply after the six-month extendable roll-out period, ranging from fines to missing out on a week of collection.
The expenses will be paid with utilities so those directly affected would pay, not the general taxpayer.
And soon even multi-family buildings will have to comply along with commercial and Village properties.
“In the office here we’re already looking at moving towards that ourselves so we can be good stewards,” said Grant.
Implementation plan (dates provided might not be achievable):
• Bins ordered in time for early February collection.
• Households begin to separate garbage into organics and general waste. Containers for each will be placed at curbside.
• Weekly collection during first six months of program.
• Household garbage will move to every two weeks, with organics still collected weekly after initial period.
• Information will be provided to affected households
• Presentation to council from service provider.
• Public open house on Nov. 19 at Memorial Hall.
• Information page on Village website.
• Mail-outs to single family households before ban and after six months.
• Outreach to elementary school, January or February 2016.
Acceptable Organic Materials List:
Meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, bones, eggs, dairy products, table scraps, plate scrapings, fruits, vegetables, bread, dough, pasta, grains, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, brewery and winery waste.
Plants and wood
Yard waste, plants, flowers, landscape vegetation, paper, wood byproducts, wood pallets, crates.
Paper towels/napkins, food• soiled uncoated paper takeout containers, non• plastic cutlery and containers, pizza delivery boxes, waxed cardboard and paper, uncoated paper cups and plates.