City of Langley trash pick up reduced to once every two weeks

Green recycling expands to include organic kitchen scraps

Langley City Council was talking trash at its Monday night meeting, voting in favour of reducing municipal garbage pick up to once every two weeks, instead of weekly.

The change may seem like a decrease in service, but City residents will now be able to recycle kitchen organics with their green waste as part of the new plan, said City manager Francis Cheung. Both recycling and green waste will continue to be picked up once a week.

“Bi-weekly pick up is being implemented in a number of communities to encourage recycling and green waste,” said Gary Vlieg, City director of engineering.

“Tipping fees are set to increase from $107 to $121 per tonne and any waste we can divert from the landfill is a benefit.”

But since residents of the City have been recycling less each year, City staff are being conservative in their estimates of the volume of kitchen scraps people are likely to recycle.

By their estimates, the reduction of garbage pick up will actually cost the City $12,000 more. This could change if residents hit a target of 35 per cent of kitchen waste being diverted from the landfill.

“This is a reduction of service. I like having garbage pick up once a week and will be voting against this,”said councillor Ted Schaffer.

He was the only one to vote against the changes.

Councillor Dave Hall said he was in favour of less garbage pick up and more recycling, but couldn’t understand why it would cost taxpayers more.

“Finance it in a manner so it is the same or cost less,” suggested Hall.

“We have a $530,00 surplus in our budget, so we can find the savings.”

Currently, residents can put out two, 80-litre cans per week for garbage and no limits for recycling. It costs $2 for each additional can.

Staff also recommended that the contract with garbage pick up contractor Emterra be extended up to two years.

The City asked to Emterra to provide quotes for how much it would cost to keep the status quo; to stay the same, but add matrress pick up; to reduce green waste collection to seven months a year (May to November); to go bi-weekly on everything, providing for organics collection has the potential to reduce costs by removing it from the garbage stream at $121/tonne to $53 per tonne.

In 2011, 2,010 tonnes of garbage was picked up from single family homes and 1,412 tonnes of recycling from both single and multi-family were picked up last year in Langley City.

According to 2011 Metro Vancouver waste study, 39 per cent of garbage from single family and 32 per cent from multi-family can be classified as food waste.

The solid waste budget for the City for 2012 is $976,730.

According to the report, it appears less garbage is being produced by residents from 2009 to now.  But recycling is down considerably since its peak year of 2009.

The City will roll out an information campaign on the changes later in the year.

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