City of Victoria should offer options in wake of CRD kitchen waste decision

Homeowners who do their own composting should have opting-out option

In a unanimous vote on April 12, the Capital Regional District board voted to ban kitchen scraps in garbage destined for the Hartland Landfill by 2015.

While this is indeed a good thing, area municipalities should take into consideration residents who have already been contributing for years by doing their own composting, and give them a break on garbage collection fees.

In Victoria, council recently ignored the wishes of respondents to a survey on garbage collection and imposed ‘option B’, a “… biweekly collection for $183 per household.” (News, Feb. 17)

This option is to provide biweekly trash and kitchen scrap collection from the backyard, but with cans returned to the curb. Compare that to the current price of $195 (soon to be $212) for weekly pickup of trash cans from the back yard, returned to the backyard. For those who do their own composting, the new service offers roughly half the service for about the same cost. This is unfair.

Like many residents, I deal with my own compostable trash. I would like to see a method established for those who compost to opt out of kitchen-scrap collection and thus pay a fee of only about $100 per year for the new bi-weekly trash collection (half the cost for half the service). This would also be an excellent incentive for people to set up backyard composting facilities.

Victoria already plans to offer a slightly lower rate for a smaller garbage can (80 litres versus 120 litres), thus implying that records will be kept as to who pays how much for garbage collection service. It would be easy to combine this with a record of who does not want to participate in kitchen scrap collection, to reduce the rate further.

In addition, council could amend, the Garbage and Recycling Bylaw 91-236 to allow residents to opt out of all garbage collection services – my household produces so little garbage that I could amass one bag every six to eight weeks and drop that off at the city works yard for $3 (about $25 annually), far less than the current rate.

I am very concerned about increasing city utility costs (about 11 per cent per year) and I will continue to suggest any means to reduce them. Council, however, continues to spend as if the cash supply is endless.

Roel Hurkens

Victoria