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  • Writer's pictureRiley Gettens

Q & A - Curbside Waste Collection - Fee Increase - July 2025

Updated: Jun 18

The RDOS's current curbside collection contract expires on June 30, 2025. At the June 13 Board Meeting, the RDOS board awarded Waste Connections Canada a seven-year contract.


Why Collect Food Waste?


Extending the lifespan of the Campbell Mountain Landfill is a crucial priority for our community. When the landfill reaches capacity, we will face the very costly alternative of shipping our waste elsewhere. Collecting food waste can divert up to 40% of the material currently sent to the landfill, reducing processing costs and annual contributions for landfill closure and significantly prolonging the landfill's operational life. Organics composting facility project page.


Why Fully Automated Trucks?


Fully automated waste collection offers staff retention and safety advantages. Semi-automatic trucks are less appealing to workers and pose higher injury risks, ultimately incurring additional costs for everyone (contractor and taxpayer).


Context for the Increase


Since 2009, Greater West Bench residents have paid $150 per year for waste collection. In 2020, this rate increased to $155 per year. A $5 increase over 15 years for an essential service is unsustainable. All waste collection proposals submitted to the RDOS included material price increases. The board selected the contractor offering the best rate and service provision.


Understanding the Rate Hike


The percentage increase seems steep—because it is. Greater West Bench and Red Wing citizens will see their waste collection fees rise from $155/year to $383/year (a $13 to $32 monthly increase). Additional bins, including bear-resistant options currently under review by staff, will further increase the costs. Staff are compiling various payment options, grants, and gas tax allocations to mitigate these expenses.


Managing waste is a complex and costly undertaking. To extend the lifespan of our landfills, we invest in more efficient systems at the curb.


More info:


On the Rates Comparison Chart, there are five columns:


  1. 2024 Rate—$155/year: This is the current rate for curb-side waste collection for GWB and Red Wing. We've been paying this rate since at least 2009.

  2. 2024 Corrected Rate—$154.83/year: Some areas weren’t paying the correct rate. Area F is paying the correct rate.

  3. 2025 Contract Rate—$382/year: This will be the new rate starting in July 2024, a 147% increase from $155 to $382 per year.

  4. 2025 In-house Fully Automated Trucks—$339/year (estimate): This is one of the estimated costs if the curbside waste collection is managed internally with fully automated trucks.

  5. 2025 In-house Semi-Automated Trucks—$256/year (estimate): This is another estimated cost for internal management, but with semi-automated trucks.



Why didn't I vote for the lower-cost, in-house option?


I didn't trust the RDOS's cost estimates or their ability to set up a new waste collection department within 12 months (the RDOS's current contract expires in July 2025), and, as you know, most of the board shared this view. No professional opinions supported investing in semi-automated trucks. This left two options: an in-house fully automated truck approach (estimated cost) or a contracted fully automated truck approach (contracted rate).


The difference between the estimated in-house and contracted costs is about $40/year. $40/year wasn't worth risking the reliability of garbage collection service in Greater West Bench or Red Wing.


No director wants to increase rates for citizens, and some directors from more rural areas are willing to risk unreliable curbside collection to potentially save money. Some rural directors suggested removing curbside collection altogether, arguing that they could manage their waste independently (hauling or burying it).


Pros and Cons of the contracted and in-house options are here.


Thank you for reading.

Please let me know if you have any questions (rgettens@rdos.bc.ca) or 250-488-0246.

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