Prince Albert municipal landfill site use on the increase

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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More garbage entered the city landfill in 2013 than the previous year, despite a significant expansion to the city’s curbside recycling program.

 

City Hall

The city’s finance department estimates a $100,000 increase in landfill fees in 2013, which at $52 a tonne translates into a 1,923-tonne increase.

Although city sanitation manager Rob Burns reports that some recyclable material still finds its way into the landfill, “it has definitely decreased.”

Taking in about 38,000 tonnes of garbage per year, last year’s slight increase has more to do with a combination of demolition and surrounding communities.

“Demolition does add to it,” Burns noted. “This year we’ve already seen a few big ones come in from out of town -- so it adds $10,000 here and there.”

Last year saw a number of significant demolitions, Mayor Greg Dionne noted during Monday’s executive committee meeting of council, citing the Red River Roping and Riding Arena, Suzy Cue’s bar, lounge and hotel, and a handful of buildings on River Street as examples.

“I’m surprised that it isn’t more considering the demolitions that we’ve done,” Dionne said.

Burns said that he wasn’t surprised to see last year’s numbers increase, noting that surrounding municipalities’ contributions to the site play a significant role.

“A lot of smaller landfills are being closed in the surrounding areas, so that’s where we’ve noticed our increase in the last few years,” he said, adding that the latest regulations make opening new landfill sites prohibitively expensive.

Whether it’s building demolitions or surrounding municipalities, it all comes in as garbage, Burns said, noting that the $52 per tonne tipping fee will be charged.

A lot of smaller landfills are being closed in the surrounding areas, so that’s where we’ve noticed our increase in the last few years. Rob Burns

”We also have been successful in the last number of years in getting and treating raw hydrocarbon contaminated soil,” public works director Colin Innes said at Monday’s meeting.

The city’s elected officials decided on Monday to tentatively approve the city’s 2014 sanitation fund budget -- a decision anticipated to be made more formal at their March 10 city council meeting.

The monthly sanitation fee surcharge that is included in residents’ water bills increased from $14.40 per month in 2013 to $14.80.

Effective Jan. 1, the city’s per-tonne landfill fee rate increased from $52 to $53.

This month, the city’s elected officials will decide whether to continue or change the free landfill pass program, which provides any city resident who has a water bill with four free trips to the landfill, limited to 150 kg per pass.

Last year, residents used 4,474 passes, resulting in a revenue loss to the city of about $38,000 -- well below the $96,000 administration anticipated.

During an in camera meeting of council, administration cautioned city council that the city’s sanitation budget might be affected by something coming up, the details of which have not been made public.

At Monday’s meeting, city finance director Joe Day told council that if this expense comes up in 2014, the sanitation department’s self-sustaining reserve fund would cover the cost.

About 1,133 tonnes of recyclables were brought in to the Material Recycling Facility by city trucks in 2013. 

Organizations: Prince Albert

Geographic location: River Street

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