Downtown Kelowna is not the only place where the city wants to density go up, not out.
On Monday, city council agreed to a staff recommendation to create taller mounds of refuse at its Glenmore landfill because it does not have the space to spread it out over a larger area.
“We need to do something if we want to keep receiving waste in the next few years,” utility services manager Kevin Van Vliet told council.
So the plan is to pile waste up to 20 metres higher and create steeper slopes at the landfill, moves Van Vliet said will add approximately 25 years of life of the landfill and enable it to receive as much as 15.5 million tonnes more of refuse.
He said that will mean the facility—which has become a Central Okanagan landfill with the closure of similar facilities in West Kelowna and Peachland in recent years—will now be able to stay open and operational until 2090 instead of 2065.
But the plans will not come cheap.
In order to make it work, a number of existing areas used to collect and store non-organic waste at the landfill will need to be relocated on site and preparation work for those moves—including the filling of existing ponds and the installation of liners—will cost an estimated $50 million over the next eight years.
The money, however, will not come from taxation, said Van Vliet.
He said the landfill is entirely financed by user fees, collected from those who use the dump, which is located in north Glenmore.
In conjunction with approving the plan, city council also agreed to raise tipping fees at the landfill.
Kelowna’s landfill currently has the lowest tipping fees in the Okanagan at $65 per tonne. That compares to $100 per tonne at the Regional District of North Okanagan’s solid waste facility and $110 per tonne at both the Summerland and Penticton landfills.
On Monday, Kelowna council agreed to increase the tipping fee here to $85 next year, $95 in 2019 and to $100 per tonne in 2020.
It will also start to charge $5 per load (under 250 kilograms) for yard waste and increase the cost of dropping off loads of garbage (under 250 kilograms) to $11 from $10.
Other fees to dump waste at the Glenmore Landfill will also increase next year including:
• The mattress recycling fee—going to $12.50 per mattress, up from $10 per load or $65 per tonne
• A $50 per tonne fee for contaminated recycling
• The international waste surcharge (from planes landing at Kelowna’s airport) going to $150 per tonne, up from $50 per tonne now.
• A new $125 per tonne fee for loads requiring sorting
• The biosolids fee going to $250 per tonne, up from $115 tonne.
On top of those increases, the cost of residential waste collection will also jump next year to $174.30 from the current rate of $162.30.