The new year is bringing with it an increase in waste and recycling fees for Black Diamond property owners.
On Dec. 18, Black Diamond Town council amended its waste and recycling rates that will see users paying $4.03 more each month.
Solid waste rates will increase from $20.44 to $25.83 per bimonthly billing period and recycling rates will rise from $9.35 to $12 effective the first billing cycle of 2020. The rates were determined after Black Diamond administration reviewed five years of operating costs for both services.
Mayor Ruth Goodwin said the Town has been subsidizing its solid waste operating costs through annual $2,000 to $3,000 transfers from reserve funds.
“Funds have been drawn from reserves in order to pay for additional tonnage and costs associated with waste and recycling,” she said. “We’re looking at getting closer and closer to full cost recovery in which the tax base is now subsidizing the funds coming out of reserves. We are now in a position of making sure everyone understands the cost of waste.”
Goodwin said it’s important to put money back into reserves, and the increase will allow the Town to do that.
Recycling costs could drop this year after Turner Valley Town council agreed at its Dec. 16 meeting to eliminate the collection of plastic at the Oilfields Recycling Centre and reduce the facility’s hours of operation from five days a week to three.
The recycling facility is cost shared between Black Diamond, Turner Valley and Foothills County. Therefore, Turner Valley council’s decision requires mutual agreement from the other municipalities.
If approved, the cost savings to Black Diamond will be $21,000, according to numbers provided in the Dec. 16 Town of Turner Valley agenda package.
Goodwin said she’s expecting to hear recommendations from the Foothills Regional Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre regarding future plans for regional waste and recycling, which could change the cost of operations in the future.