As we focus on COVID-19, the RM of St Clements is putting some activities on hold, including decisions about new waste management fees.
You may have read about the possible changes in local newspapers — however, in light of the current situation, we are delaying these plans indefinitely.
We will notify the community when public consultation on this topic resumes. In the meantime, we continue to welcome your comments. Please email us email@example.com to share your views.
Learn about fee changes for waste management services
The RM plans to introduce new waste disposal fees as part of our efforts to maintain the quality and affordability of living in St. Clements. You can help us prepare for the changes by sharing your views during the decision-making process.
The new fees and other changes are outlined in By-Law 1-2020 which received first reading at the Council meeting on January 7, 2020.
Below are highlights of the new by-law, which is expected to take effect in July 6, 2020.
What will stay the same
• For most waste management service, residents will pay substantially lower fees than non-residents and commercial users.
• Residents will continue to enjoy free disposal of many items, including electronics, acceptable household recycling, automotive batteries and agricultural chemical containers. At the Libau landfill, residents will still be able to dispose of up to 10 bags per visit without paying a fee.
What will change
• Fees will be higher for some waste disposal services:
- Bag fees for household refuse will increase to $2.00 /bag for residents ($4 for non-residents).
- Tipping fees for miscellaneous garbage will increase to $60.00/tonne for residents ($75.00 for non-residents).
- Fees for disposing of refrigeration items will increase to $35.00 from $30.00/unit for residents.
• There will no longer be three separate fee classes for waste disposal (residents, non-residents and commercial users). Instead, there will be two fee classes, with non-residents paying the same fees as commercial users. This change will help to keep fees low for people living in St. Clements.
• For some items, the available amount of free waste disposal will be capped. For example, under the existing by-law, residents can drop off an unlimited amount of clean burnables without paying a fee. In future, free disposal of clean burnables will be limited to 1 tonne in a single visit. Beyond that, the fee will be $10/tonne.
• There will also be a new fee and special procedures for disposing of asbestos. Anyone wishing to dispose of this material will need to make advance arrangements with the Libau landfill.
Why Council is considering these changes
The proposed changes are part of a larger plan to keep property tax inceases low and quality of life high in St. Clements.
When we developed our Strategic Plan, we identified financial sustainability as the foundation for every major goal of our community. It’s a key factor in making St. Clements “the place to be” – a community where people can live, work and thrive. That’s why we are always looking for ways to become more efficient.
We’ve done well. In fact, our mill rate for property taxes is one of the lowest in the region.
But to protect this important advantage, we need to address new financial pressures, including increased regulation, decreasing funding from other levels of government and the pressing need to improve deteriorating roads and drainage systems.
At the same time, residents want and deserve service improvements, including a greater range of safe waste disposal options.
User fees for waste management can help us close the gap between growing costs and decreasing revenue. By increasing user fees we can keep property tax increases to a minimum. We can also make sure that the biggest users of these services pay a larger share of the costs.
Another aim of this increase is to encourage recycling, which reduces the RM’s waste disposal costs while creating new sources of non-tax revenue.
How you can provide input
Please send your questions or comments by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your comments to: 1043 Kittson Road, Box 2, Grp 35, RR1, East Selkirk, MB R0E 0M0. You can also call the RM office at 204-482-3300.
We request your feedback before April 17, 2020 so that we can consider it before the by-law receives second reading.
We are particularly interested in your views on these topics:
• What penalties would be appropriate when people don’t follow the rules?
• What sort of environmental improvements would you like to see at transfer stations and the landfill in the future?
• Would you be interested in a household hazardous waste depot?
• Are you interested in environmentally alternatives to burning wood, such as composting and wood-chipping?
• Should the RM accept big waste items that could be disposed of in different ways – for example, fridges and mattresses?
• Currently, four of the 13 transfer stations in the Winnipeg Metro Region (excluding the City of Winnipeg) are in the RM of St. Clements. Since the RM has a high number of transfer stations compared to other municipalities, should we consider closing one or two locations? If so, under what circumstances?
• Do you have additional ideas for reducing the cost of waste management services?
Frequently asked questions
When will the new fees come into effect?
Fees are expected to increase on July 6, 2020 but the new by-law must first be adopted by the RM Council. Watch for updates on this page, the RM’s Facebook page and at disposal sites.
Why is it necessary to increase the fee for household waste?
The last increase to the bag fee was more than 10 years ago. Since then, waste management costs and regulations have grown while grants and subsidies available to municipalities have shrunk. The fee increase will help to ensure that a higher proportion of these rising costs is paid by non-residents and high-volume users. It will also encourage other methods of disposal, such as recycling and composting, which can turn waste into products of value.
What are some examples of higher waste costs?
One example is the $10/tonne provincial levy on garbage that was introduced in 2009. Last year the RM paid about $85,000 for this levy, less the amount that was returned to us because of recycling.
Another is the growing cost of environmental regulation and safety. For example, in 2017 the municipality needed to invest in a leachate pond and landscaping to improve protection of wells and other water sources. As we learn more about the effect of leachates, we may need to introduce other technologies to further improve water protection.
Aren’t the costs covered by fees now?
Not entirely. When we factor in all of the operating costs – for staff, equipment, clearing snow, cleaning out the burning pit, loading scrap metal, doing environmental testing and so on – we see a large gap between the fees we collect and the actual costs of waste management. For example, even with the increase, bag fees will cover less than 1/5 of the total cost of running the transfer stations.
What else is St. Clements doing to deal with rising costs?
One of the most exciting developments is the new curbside recycling program in St. Clements. Sales of the recyclables from the curbside recycling are expected to generate about $117,000 in revenues. This is enough to cover the cost of bins, collecting and processing. And for every tonne of waste we keep out of the landfill, we save the $10/tonne levy that would otherwise be paid to the provincial government.
Near the end of 2019, we also entered into a new contract that has reduced the cost of hauling our solid waste and recycling from our transfer stations. Other cost-saving solutions are being explored with our neighbours in the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region.
How much does it cost to operate the transfer stations?
The net cost to taxpayers has been about $285,220 per year in total for all four stations.
How much more revenue will these changes generate?
The increases in the bag fee and tipping fee could generate about $70,000 more revenue each year, based on current volumes.
What improvements could be considered as waste management evolves?
We’re looking at new options for safer disposal of electronic waste, used oil, pesticide containers and Freon. Some of these materials could be sold to create additional non-tax revenue for municipal services.
Other opportunities are safer collection of household hazardous waste and cleaner alternatives for handling wood waste. As technology develops, there may even be the potential to capture and reuse the gas produced at landfills.
What happens if I still have unused bag tickets when the new fees come into effect?
The RM will honour the old tickets if you pay the difference between the old and new rate.