As of Monday, July 6 the City of Quesnel will require that all commercial cardboard dropped off at the landfill be weighed and residential cardboard will be banned from the site.
“We are going to make all commercial cardboard go over the scale and be dropped into the bin so that way we will be able to measure it and know how much is there and we can also watch for contamination and we are going to ban residential cardboard from the landfill and encourage all residents to take it to the Recycle B.C. Depot where it should be going.”said City of Quesnel Director of Finance Kari Bolton.
The decision comes as the City works on a new contract to handle commercial cardboard and requires more data regarding how much commercial cardboard the City receives.
“So one challenge with negotiating a new contract is that the City doesn’t have good data on how much commercial cardboard the City currently receives,” said Bolton. “At this point a lot of people, even residents, are still dropping cardboard off in the old landfill drop off where it is only supposed to be commercial cardboard. All residents should be taking it to the Recycle B.C. Depot before the landfill. So we don’t know how much is commercial versus how much is residential so one thing we need to do is figure out what the volume is.”
According to a City Staff Report, the recycling market has changed drastically over the past few years and currently the market value for commercial cardboard is very low and it costs approximately $100 per tonne to process.
In order to deal with those costs Bolton says that an additional rate should be added to the Comprehensive Fees Bylaw however that will not happen until January 1 of 2021.
“In order to deal with these costs and ensure a more user pay system, staff are recommending that a rate for commercial cardboard be included in the Comprehensive Fees Bylaw, said Bolton. “So the Financial Sustainability and Audit Committee recommended waiting until January 1 2021 to do that fee.”
The report states that for the 2020 budget year, it is anticipated that the cost of recycling commercial cardboard will be approximately $20,000 to $30,000 over budget if no fees are collected in 2020.