RDOS explores waste depot at Apex

A garbage and recycling depot at Apex Alpine Ski Resort is being explored by the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

A garbage and recycling depot at Apex Alpine Ski Resort is being explored by the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

Electoral Area D director Bill Schwarz is asking residents and property owners to advise him on the best way to move forward on a possible depot that would provide recycling and waste service for homes and businesses at the resort.

“Property owners up there should have a say on how these costs will be paid for,” said Schwarz. “We have a variety of options, including taxation and property fees. Hearing what is fair from residents will put us in a good footing to move forward on this.”

The Apex Alpine area has about 550 residential homes and condo units, restaurants, shops, rental units and a day lodge. Currently residents must pack out their garbage and recycling, lease the use of Apex Alpine’s garbage compactor or pay for their own bin collection. Public bins and the resort compactor have been subject to illegal dumping, and recyclables are often mixed in with garbage.

In 2006, the RDOS looked at a variety of depot options, all of which were discounted due to cost. Of the options presented, the gravel pit property near the resort needed massive earth moving to meet Ministry of Transport entry and exit requirements. Another area was unfeasible due to the prohibitive cost of running underground electrical wires through a high-risk avalanche area.

The proposed depot would be located at the Apex village near the current waste compactor. Residents would be required to park and then place garbage or recycling in the separate bear-proof waste compactors. A building would cover the bins to allow for easy access and snow removal. The whole depot would be owned by the RDOS, but maintained and monitored by Apex staff.

The total capital costs of the depot, including the building, compactors and compact bins, have been estimated at $265,000. This works out to $21,500 per year over a 20-year payment schedule at five per cent interest. Yearly hauling and compactor maintenance costs have been estimated at about $20,000. Snow clearing, monitoring and land leasing by Apex resort is $12,000 per year. Administration, tipping fees and education costs are estimated at $25,000.

RDOS staff will be at the Apex Property Owners Association meeting on March 19 to discuss the proposed depot. Numerous open houses this spring across the RDOS will also feature the Apex depot as part of the RDOS Solid Waste Management Plan review.

“I look forward on hearing from residents on the right way to deal with this long-term issue,” said Schwarz.