Kirwan Calls For Elimination of Tipping Fees


Date:                     October 2, 2014

To:                        Media

From:                    Robert Kirwan
                             Candidate for Councillor of Ward 5

Re:                        Kirwan Calls For Elimination of Tipping Fees

I have spoken with a large number of people living in Valley East and other communities in the region and have come to the conclusion that the residential tipping fee charges are nothing more than a nuisance and annoyance which is being considered as a hidden tax on people who are simply being good citizens. We are charging people for bringing their garbage to our landfill sites when we should be thanking them.

I will therefore be recommending to Council that we eliminate the tipping fee charge for residents who are bringing in garbage and waste from their homes. I would like this to be part of a major public awareness campaign to encourage people to clean up their property and perhaps even to get together with their neighbours to clean up the ditches and green areas around their subdivision as part of a community face-lift. As it stands now, if people do something like this they are charged at the landfill site for their good deed.

It is hoped that the elimination of the tipping fee may have some impact on the amount of garbage that is being dumped in the forests and trails, but people who are going to do something like that likely won’t stop just because we take away the tipping fees. What I am expecting is that individual families, schools or groups and organizations may take it upon themselves to go out and clean up some of the garbage that has been illegally dumped in order to help beautify the community. They can gather several trucks on a Saturday morning and clean things up for a few hours as part of a special community project. And they won’t be charged $3 or more for every load they bring in.

While some will argue that it is only $3 a load for a tipping fee, it isn’t the amount of money that is bothering people. It is the fact that people are being charged at all for driving their own garbage to the dump instead of putting it out for the regular garbage pickup.  It makes residents feel as if the City is nickel & diming them for small change every time they turn around. And then they let something like $800,000 in bus ticket revenue go uncollected. That is what residents are upset about.  The City goes after regular citizens for pocket change all the time and then ignore the big ticket items. All those little items add up to a lot of money over the course of a year and residents are saying “enough already”.

Another spin off is that with no need to weigh vehicles as closely while entering or exiting, the traffic flow will be a lot better at the entrances during “rush hours”. If people enjoy a much better experience when they come to the landfill site, they may take more time to drop off different parts of their load in the recycle sections instead of just dumping everything in the main landfill site in order to get back in the line up to leave. They won’t be in as much of a rush to get out.

The elimination of the landfill tipping fees for residential garbage is long overdue and the benefit to the community as a whole along with the reduced need for city workers to clean up illegally dumped garbage or to pick up the waste material at the individual residences will more than make up for the loss of revenue generated in tipping fees. This one small gesture by the City may be what generates a whole new positive attitude towards protecting and preserving our natural environment.


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