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Landfill fees jump 30%

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, RDOS, will be changing fees and regulations for garbage, recycling and organics brought to local landfills.

Beginning May 1, regular garbage fees will rise to $95 per tonne from $72 at the Campbell Mountain, Oliver, Okanagan Falls and Keremeos landfills.

Over the last decade, there has been a steady drop in the amount of garbage received due to increased recycling and composting. For several years, RDOS landfills have either passed along costs to ratepayers or diverted funds scheduled for reserves.

"Taxing everyone to subsidize the cost of garbage isn't fair or effective," said RDOS board Chair Mark Pendergraft. "A user pay system is better as people pay the real price for the garbage they create. It also encourages residents to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost to save money."

While regular garbage fees will increase, tipping fees for recyclable gypsum wall board, concrete and masonry will be reduced. There will also be preferential fees for mixed demolition and renovation waste that has undergone hazard assessment and abatement.

To protect workers, proof of a hazard assessment and abatement for each mixed load will be required. No hazard abatement will be required when materials are separated and brought in as clean and recyclable gypsum, concrete, asphalt, wood and metal.

May 1 will also mark the opening of the Okanagan Falls Landfill Demolition Renovation and Construction Waste Recycling Facility and the Keremeos Landfill weigh scale.

With any fee increase, there are concerns of a potential increase in illegal dumping. RDOS staff regularly clean up illegal dump sites and have worked with conservation officers to identify vehicles suspected of dumping materials.

Residents can report illegal dump sites, by calling 1-866-566-3867.

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