Garbage that's dumped at the Vancouver landfill in Delta – or any Metro Vancouver transfer station – is subject to the region's $107 per tonne tipping fee. Some haulers pay much less to instead haul waste to an Abbotsford transfer station.

Garbage that's dumped at the Vancouver landfill in Delta – or any Metro Vancouver transfer station – is subject to the region's $107 per tonne tipping fee. Some haulers pay much less to instead haul waste to an Abbotsford transfer station.

Metro Vancouver’s garbage export ban advances despite opposition

Contentious new waste flow rules will still need provincial government approval

It may soon fall to the province to decide whether Metro Vancouver can ban the export of garbage beyond its boundaries, putting what some say is an unfair limit on business.

A proposed waste flow bylaw that’s been fought by garbage haulers was swiftly approved by Metro’s zero waste committee Oct. 3 and is expected to get support from the full board Friday, sending it to the provincial environment ministry for approval.

The committee vote was 6-2 in favour, with West Vancouver Mayor Michael Smith and Langley City Coun. Gayle Martin opposed.

The bylaw would ban shipments to unapproved out-of-region destinations, such as an Abbotsford transfer station that is capturing a growing share of the waste business.

Some haulers pay an estimated $70 per tonne to dump there, rather than $107 per tonne charged by Metro Vancouver at in-region transfer stations, and they don’t face Metro-imposed bans on dumping various recyclables.

Their ability to undercut other haulers that pay full Metro tipping fees and abide by the bans are resulting in a growing flow of garbage east that Metro directors say must be stopped so the regional district isn’t bled of critical revenue.

“Waste is leaving the system and that means we’re not achieving our environmental goals, our diversion goals and we’re losing revenue to support Metro Vancouver programs,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who chairs the waste committee.

Some business groups have denounced the bylaw as one that will force customers to pay more than necessary.

Their objections have been amplified by paid lobbyists – including former BC Liberal MLA John Les (Chilliwack), who represents the Cache Creek landfill operators – as well as some Metro directors.

“I don’t think Metro Vancouver should be creating a monopoly on something like garbage,” Smith said Friday, arguing the region shouldn’t frustrate free enterprise or business creativity in finding new waste solutions.

“Metro Vancouver continues on a crash course to raise costs for residents and businesses alike,” Grant Hankins, district manager for hauling firm BFI Canada, told the committee. “You’re picking winners and losers.”

An earlier version of the bylaw was defeated in September but it was quickly retooled and revived.

One change would allow cities to exempt specific apartment buildings from the requirement coming in 2015 to separate all organic food waste.

Garbage from those buildings would have to go to an approved material recovery facility (MRF) where organics and other recyclables would be extracted from waste.

The bylaw creates some room for mixed-waste MRFs, which proponents say could pull out much more recyclable material that’s now dumped or incinerated, helping lift the poor 15 per cent recycling rate in multifamily buildings.

Exempting select older apartment buildings from the organics ban will also solve a major problem for cities, which weren’t sure how it could be implemented in some cases.

Metro has been accused of trying to pen up garbage in the region to feed a future new garbage incinerator.

But the bylaw is also backed by recycling businesses that say they have flourished under Metro’s source separation policies, which would be undermined without the imposition of flow control rules.

“If all this material was being exported or if all this material was being owned by haulers who have transfer stations we would never have access to this material,” said Nicole Stefenelli of the Recycle First Coalition.

The Cache Creek landfill would continue to be an approved regional facility under the new rules, at least until Metro opens a new waste-to-energy plant and stops using the Interior dump. Some incineration opponents hope that plan fails and Metro is forced to keep trucking waste to Cache Creek.

Just Posted

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

submitted
City of Mission hosting a virtual and in-person open house to explore Silverdale plan

It’s the first neighbourhood planning area of the larger Silverdale Comprehensive Planning Area

Hutch Hotels Ltd., which owned the former Alder Inn (which was demolished in November 2020), is among the defendants in a lawsuit related to an alleged impaired-driving crash in January 2017. The civil suit also names S & L Kitchen and Bar in Abbotsford. (Black Press file photo)
Two Fraser Valley bars named in lawsuit related to alleged impaired-driving crash

S & L Abbotsford and Alder Inn being sued by passenger in 2017 rollover collision

With a lot of summer traffic expected, RCMP are setting up traffic blitzes throughout the Eastern Fraser Valley to curb dangerous driving behaviour in cone zones. (Submitted by Road Safety at Work)
See orange cones? Better put down your phone!

12 roadside workers died, 207 were injured in B.C. during last 10 years

Stock photo from Pixabay
Abbotsford Police warn about scam phone calls that display their name

Caller claims victim’s identity has been compromised and they need to send money

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Most Read