RCC continues to express its concern over the recommendation of municipal staff regarding the Integrated Solid-Waste Resource Management Strategy Review – Final Report.  Specifically, RCC Members are concerned with the second part of the recommendation to:

Amend By-law S-600 to allow for the export of ICI residual waste (garbage) outside HRM, and amend Administrative Order number 16 to provide for an increase in fees for disposal of ICI residual waste from $125 per tonne to the assessed system cost of $170.00 per tonne;

Retailers would welcome the option of exporting Industrial Commercial Institutional (ICI) residual waste outside of HRM but are concerned that they would even need to explore this option.  Solid waste management practices vary between municipalities but it is clear that municipalities across Nova Scotia are national leaders in solid waste management.  HRM tipping fees are much higher due to expensive, long-term agreements signed by the municipality, which are cost prohibitive for businesses. 

The latest recommended fee increase would be thirty-six percent.

Member To Do:

Advocate for HRM to allow ICI residual waste to be transported to neighbouring municipalities and for a smaller increase in tipping fees at the HRM solid waste site in Otter Lake, Nova Scotia.

What RCC Did / Next Steps:

RCC has written to the HRM Mayor and Councillors on this issue and has met individually with a number of HRM Councillors.  Some Councillors are supportive of RCC’s advocacy; some are undecided while others firmly believe that HRM should look after its own solid waste.  RCC continues to make the point that it was HRM’s decision to create a monopoly for one company handling HRM’s solid waste and it was HRM’s decision to give this company an overly generous long-term contract.  However, it is businesses that are paying for these decisions and thus, businesses deserve to at least have the choice to either use the Otter Lake site or the solid waste sites in neighbouring municipalities.

Background:

With a few exceptions, it is the responsibility of businesses in HRM to ensure that their ICI makes it to the Otter Lake solid waste site. 

HRM is in a long term contract with Mirror Nova Scotia.  Under the contract, Mirror Nova Scotia receives an incredible deal of cost plus twenty-five percent to run the solid waste landfill.

HRM uses a front end processor at the Otter Lake site.  The front end processor allows an extra level of garbage sorting but it comes at significant additional cost for the municipality.  When HRM chose the Otter Lake site for its solid waste, it promised the neighbouring communities that the front end processor would always be used.  HRM has little appetite to get rid of the front end processor and they need the additional tipping fee revenues to not only pay for the front end processor but for the bad contract that HRM signed with Mirror Nova Scotia.

In HRM, retailers are already faced with exorbitant solid waste fees, high property taxes and unjustified water tax increases.  Retailers are willing to pay their fair share but adding a 36% increase to tipping fees that were already high by any comparative standard, is excessive.

The municipalities of Chester, West Hants and Queens will take HRM generated ICI residual waste at their facilities for a significantly cheaper price per tonne than is offered in HRM.  These municipalities do not use a front end processor and estimates suggest that the cost to use these sites would be between $90 and $100 per tonne.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact Jim Cormier at: [email protected] or 902-422-4144.

Letter to Mayor Savage and Councillors