Abbotsford city council has given three readings to a bylaw that would see a $50 increase over two years in the base fee that property owners pay for garbage and recycling services.
The new Solid Waste Management Bylaw would see the annual base fee rise from $220 to $245 this year and to $270 in 2022.
This is for a household using the base service level of three 240-litre carts – one each for recycling, compostables and garbage – under the city’s new waste program that starts April 19.
Property owners using more or less than the basic level will have their fee adjusted accordingly.
For example, a household using a 120-litre garbage cart will pay $230 for 2021 and $255 next year. A property owner using a 360-litre garbage cart will pay $300 and then $325.
Anna Mathewson, director of environmental services, told council at its meeting on Monday (March 8) that the fee for waste management in Abbotsford has stayed the same since 2012, but the cost of the program has increased 22 per cent since then.
She said the base service fee is expected to apply to about 90 per cent of Abbotsford households.
Mayor Henry Braun said waste management is just one of the areas with “structural deficits” that the city has been looking at.
“We are subsidizing our solid waste more and more every year. We have to bring it in line with what our cost is, which is what council is doing, and instead of having a $50 jump per household, to break it up over two years, especially in a COVID environment, I think makes ultimate sense,” he said.
The bylaw will come back before council for final approval at a later date.
Council approved changes to its curbside collection program in 2019 to see new fully automated trucks used to pick up residents’ trash, recycling and compost.
The city announced last fall that new wheeled carts would be provided at the beginning of February 2021, with the program starting April 19.
Under the new program, compostables will be collected every week, while trash and recyclables will be collected every other week, on alternating weeks.
The delivered carts will be used for 90 days, after which residents can ask to upsize or downsize their carts or add a second compostable cart.
Special yard waste collection services will be provided on a bi-weekly basis during the first 90 days.
The program will be delivered in west Abbotsford by city collection staff and in east Abbotsford by a contractor, Waste Connections Canada.
Carts are expected to be delivered to homes from now until March 31. More information is available on the city website at letstalkabbotsford.ca/curbside2020.