With files from Betsy Kline
Rossland homeowners could be paying more than their regional counterparts for garbage collection, depending on consumption.
The City of Castlegar recently switched to bi-weekly garbage pickup, prompting Castlegar News’s Betsy Kline to compare the city’s garbage fees to those in Nelson, Trail and Rossland. The numbers show that based on an average of two bags per week (which is the industry standard), Rossland homeowners are paying the highest price for garbage collection.
|ANNUAL FEE||ADDITIONAL FEES|
*Based on 2 bags per week
|Nelson||bi-weekly||bi-weekly||no||no||$40||$1.50 per bag||$196|
|Trail||weekly||bi-weekly||twice annually||2 recycling||$126||no||$126|
$.75 per small bag
$1.50 per large bag
Each homeowner in Rossland pays $6.60 toward garbage on their monthly utility bill, for a total of $79.20 annually. The annual fee covers not only the contract costs the City of Rossland pays to Davies Sales and Associates, but also the cost of spring cleanup. In addition, each bag of garbage that ends up on the curb needs to sport a neon green sticker before it will be picked up. The sticker costs cover the tipping fees at the dump, whereas contract fees cover pickup and transportation to the landfill.
In Rossland, garbage stickers are available in both small — no larger than 18” by 28” — and large — no larger than 28” by 36” — at a cost of 75 cents for the former and $1.50 for the latter. (Not that they can be bought individually, they are sold in sheets of 10.) Assuming an average of two large bags per household, that adds up to $156 annually, on top of the annual fee. But many homeowners may not be producing an industry average amount of garbage.
Obviously not every household meets the average to begin with, but the whole point of introducing a pay-per-bag system was to encourage Rossland residents to curb their garbage yield and divert more waste to recycling. According to Allan Davies, owner of Davies Sales and Associates, the plan is working and some households now have weeks where they don’t put out any garbage at all.
Looking back at the numbers, and assuming a lower average number of bags, Rossland homeowners still pay more than their regional neighbours, but by a slightly smaller margin. Assuming one bag per week instead of two, Rossland homeowners would pay an estimated annual total of $157.20. But Nelson is also on the sticker system and has bi-weekly pickup (both measures meant to encourage more recycling and less waste), so we’d also have to assume an average of one bag per week in Nelson, bringing a Nelson homeowners total annual estimated cost to $118.
In the end, how much more a Rossland homeowner pays depends on their own consumption, putting the onus on Rosslanders to reduce costs by reducing garbage.
We would love to hear from Rossland residents on this issue. How many garbage stickers do you use a week? Have you reduced your garbage and increased recycling since the pay-per-bag system was introduced? Do you think Rossland’s garbage fees are too high? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.