LETTER: Questioning Metro’s revised tipping fees

This is a major reversal from what Metro previously indicated, explains letter-writer

As owner of a transfer station in Abbotsford, I would like to respond to the story in the Feb. 3 edition of The News “Metro Vancouver shakes up garbage tipping fees to tame U.S. exports.”

Metro Vancouver is reducing the current $109 per tonne tipping fee to $80 for trucks that haul more than nine tonnes, while the fee for small loads of up to one tonne would jump to $130 per tonne and medium loads would pay $109 per tonne.

Metro board chair Greg Moore wants Metro to “win” back the business of local haulers with the lower rate for large loads.

We find it distasteful that local haulers must take matters into their own hands and find an alternative now that Metro wants to drop rates.

This is a major reversal from what Metro previously indicated.

In 2011, Metro forecast its rates would steadily rise to $205 per tonne by 2016.

On top of that, Metro adds a 50 per cent surcharge to the tipping fee for loads with too many recyclables such as cardboard mixed in.

This is unfair and unrealistic.

The bigger question is why do they have to increase rates?

Metro’s tipping fees, rules and regulations regarding tipping are pushing all haulers to look for other solutions. Businesses and the general public can no longer afford to stand by and accept the unfair business practices of Metro’s waste policies.

The new tiered rate structure is also unfair to trucks that can legally only haul eight tonnes and will be charged $109, rather than the $80 per tonne for nine tonnes and up.

Volume is dropping at all of Metro’s transfer stations, including its Matsqui site, yet the regional district will charge $150 per tonne there. Does this make sense when Matsqui is a lot closer to the Cache Creek landfill?

My question to Metro is how can you all of a sudden drop your rates so far below what had previously been forecast? Why do they impact the smaller loads and the general public waste? Is this really a lot more work?

As well, the bigger question is do they want to secure more waste so that they can push through the waste-to-energy plant?

While we ship garbage to the U.S., I’m tired of Metro stating that we also ship recyclables there, as that is untrue.

At First Class Waste, we have strict guidelines and report to the Fraser Valley Regional District and the City of Abbotsford on the amount of recyclables we have diverted from the loads at our transfer stations. Furthermore, why would we pay to ship recyclables?

We take the initiative to inspect every load and if there are any recyclables such as wood, cardboard or tires we will divert them out of the load into the appropriate channels. We do not charge a surcharge for this service. At Metro, you may pay 50 per cent more. Is this fair practice?

Don Mayhew, owner of First Class Waste