Some Cowichan Lake area residents can expect to pay 32 per cent more for their garbage/recycling pickup, this year.
Despite local politicians’ objection, annual garbage and recycling collection costs will shoot up 32 per cent this year, up to $178 in both the Youbou/Meade Creek (Area I) and Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls (Area F) Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) electoral areas.
The decision was finalized during the CVRD’s Wednesday, April 13, board meeting.
“Ian and I voted against it because it’s a steep increase,” Area I director Klaus Kuhn said, of himself and Area F director Ian Morrison. “It’s hard to justify.”
“It’s a 32 per cent increase!” Morrison said, exasperated, when asked why he voted against it. “It’s another thing that keeps going up.”
Rates throughout the Cowichan Valley went up, with Cowichan Lake’s remaining the highest.
“We pay the highest fee because we’re furthest away,” Kuhn said.
“The contractor is in the driver’s seat, because there’s no competition and that’s because there’s such a variation of types of services,” CVRD recycling and waste manager Bob McDonald explained during the meeting.
“(The providers) get to pick and choose their rates. Last year, there were rate increases as well by about 35 per cent, but we kept rates the same because we had money in reserve funds.”
In 2011, the Town of Lake Cowichan’s annual garbage collection rate for single-family households (two garbage cans for bi-weekly pickup, one for weekly) went up to $157.80 from 2010’s $151.68.
The town’s garbage collection will run at a tentatively budgeted deficit of $27,526 this year.
After last year’s deficit of $44,443, the town’s elected officials decided to cut this year’s special collections.
With notes by Ashley Gaudreault