Victoria residents are being asked to give their input into the future of waste collection in the city -- but the big decisions have already been made for them.
Garbage will be collected every two weeks, instead of weekly, and the city will begin collecting kitchen scraps from all single family houses.
The changes are set to begin in January 2013.
Also changing are the garbage bins. Everyone will be required to use standardized totes on wheels, but households can choose their tote size. The smaller the tote, the lower the annual cost for the service.
Still up for debate are scheduling and pick up location. Currently crews will walk to the backyard to pick up the bin, but under consideration is a requirement for residents to wheel their bins to the curb.
Adding kitchen-scrap collection will add between $12 and $19 to the annual waste-collection bill. Victoria staff recommended against adding the service, in part because there is no nearby processing facility.
The city plans to truck the organic waste to Hartland landfill in Saanich, for a fee of $107 per tonne. There is no guarantee this rate will continue in the long term, however, warned Ed Robertson, Victoria’s assistant director of engineering and public works, in his report to council.
From Hartland, the kitchen scraps will be trucked to the Fisher Road Composting Facility in Cobble Hill.
Public consultations begin this fall in Victoria on waste collection. Through a survey and open houses, residents can cast their vote for one of three options. They include:
• The high cost option: Collection alternates weekly, garbage one week, kitchen scraps the next. Backyard pick up continues. Approximate annual cost: $229.
• The low cost option: Collection of both garbage and kitchen scraps every two weeks. Because one truck can be used to collect both, this option will save time and gas. Curbside pick up only. Approximate annual cost: $161.
• The medium cost option: Same as option 2, but backyard bin pick up offered. Cost to be determined.