Highlands East council narrowly approved an increase to landfill tipping fees by a 3-2 vote Dec. 10.

They approved the hikes as part of a new fee bylaw. The increases include bulk garbage going from $20 to $25 per cubic yard (yd3), sorted construction materials going from $30 to $40/yd3 and unsorted construction materials going from $50 to $80/yd3. Fees were also added for brush at $20/ yd3 and $10 per bundled shrink wrap.

Mayor Dave Burton, Coun. Suzanne Partridge and Coun. Cam McKenzie voted in favour while Deputy Mayor Cec Ryall and Coun. Ruth Strong opposed it.

“Current landfill tipping fees have been in place for several years,” environmental supervisor Stewart Hurd said in a report. “Due for review and possible increases in order to promote better sorting of waste material and minimize contamination and extend the life expectancy of our landfills.”

Other fee adjustments include an added $5 for mattress and box springs, from $10 to $15. A $10 fee per unit on non-CFC appliances has also been waived and they are now accepted free of charge. Household garbage, scrap metal, recycled material and tires are also still free.

Ryall said he understood contamination is an issue but he expressed concern people would bypass landfills and dump elsewhere if fees increased.

“The cost of getting this out of the ditches is not good, considering most of the time it’s on municipal property,” Ryall said, later adding the people he represents do not support higher fees.

Strong agreed.

“On side roads, I have seen that,” she said.

Hurd reported that Highlands East tipping fees are lower than its neighbours. For example, Dysart et al charge $25/yd3 for bulk waste in packer trucks, $50/yd3 for brush, $50/ yd3 for sorted construction material and $100/yd3 for unsorted.

The new fees bylaw also adds a $1,350 deposit fee for the purchase of a shore road allowance.

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