CORRECTION: Household recycling costs not on the rise in Central Okanagan

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Our story yesterday incorrectly reported that the cost of recycling is going up in the Central Okanagan in 2019.

In fact, the proposed new contract with Recycle B.C. is adding money to local government coffers, according to Cynthia Coates, Waste Reduction Facilitator with the Regional District of the Central Okanagan.

“Recycle B.C. will pay us four per cent more  for curbside collection,” she said. “It’s not a cost.”

Coates estimated that Recycle B.C. will pay local governments more than $2 Million to collect recyclable materials in 2019. That amount will increase each year if the number of households in the regional district increases.

Residents do pay for curbside collection of garbage, recycling and compost. That contract is currently under negotiation and could result in changes to the current fees charged. Negotiations on that contract are scheduled to be completed in early October.

We are leaving our original story below, unedited, for full disclosure. We apologize for the error. 

 

CENTRAL OKANAGAN - Central Okanagan residents will likely pay four per cent more for recycling in 2019.

Local governments are in the process of renewing their contracts with Recycle B.C. to handle the recycling portion of the region’s curbside collection system.

The City of Kelowna on Monday, Sept. 17, and Lake Country on Tuesday, Sept. 18, will kick off the process as the councils consider adopting the “non-negotiable” five-year renewal of the contract. According to a report going to Kelowna city council Monday, not agreeing to the new rates means Recycle B.C. will be asked to do the curbside collection of recyclable material.

While the dollar figures are not huge – a $1.50 hike per household per year – it does represent a 4.1 per cent increase. But the rate (increasing from $34 to $35.50 per year) is scheduled to remain the same for the next five years.

The initial contract was signed in 2013 and expires at the end of November. The full cost of the higher fees will be passed on the residents. This is part of the existing curbside collection system. That contract expires in April 2019. A request for proposals closed Sept. 10 with a 30-day negotiation period now underway.

Some of the increased revenue from the recycling contract will be spent on education, especially on recycling contamination.

The option to level penalties already exists if recycling has more than three per cent contamination, but may not have been charged.

The new agreement with Recycle B.C. calls for penalties to double in the second year for Kelowna – from $5,000 per load to $10,000 per load. That increases in subsequent years to $20,000 per load.

The fees are based on the number of houses in each community. Peachland’s rate is projected to increase from $1,250 per load to $2,500 per load since Peachland is expected to pass the 2,500 household threshold during the life of the next contract, pushing it into a higher rate category.

Contamination fees for Lake Country ($2,500 per load) and the rest of the Regional District of the Central Okanagan ($1,250 per load) are not changing.


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