If your going to the landfill, sort your loads.
It’s the message the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is trying to get out as they will be enforcing updated bylaws and landfill tipping fees. The changes mean lower fees for sorted materials and increased costs for co-mingled (un-sorted) loads delivered to landfills.
“These changes are a sign of our changing attitude and our ability to reduce what we put in our landfills,” said RDOS solid waste facilities co-ordinator Don Hamilton.
“Changing technologies have increased what can be recycled. Today, many of the materials that were formerly buried in landfills are now recyclable. A trip to the landfill is nothing like it was 50 years ago or even 15 years ago.”
Hamilton encourages people conducting demolition, renovation or construction work to sort materials on site. Those bringing co-mingled construction materials to the Campbell Mountain, Okanagan Falls or Oliver landfills will see an increase in tipping fees as of Sept. 1. Campbell Mountain construction materials will increase from $200 to $400 per tonne. Okanagan Falls and Oliver will see increases from $125 to $150 per tonne.
The goal is to increase recycling and reuse, create local jobs and divert construction material to the Okanagan Falls landfill and away from the Campbell Mountain landfill. The Okanagan Falls landfill is now one of the few specialized facilities for the recycling and disposal of demolition, land clearing and construction waste in B.C.
“It’s shown that recycling and reuse create five to 10 times the number of jobs when compared to throwing resources in a landfill,” said Hamilton. “Those were local jobs we are losing when we encourage people to put everything in the garbage.”
There are piles for metal, clean scraps of gypsum board, clean wood, roofing shingles and other valuable materials at the landfill. These materials are shipped out of the landfill to be reused or recycled.