Future Cornwall residential garbage levy planned in ‘restructuring’ of landfill operations

(Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The City of Cornwall is planning to introduce a levy on residential ratepayers to pay for curbside collection of garbage and recycling.

The plan is contained in a report to be reviewed Monday by city council about increasing tipping fees from $85 to $125 per metric ton for the industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) sectors and adding 50 per cent surcharges for garbage truck loads that have a certain amount of recyclable material in them.

The IC&I changes were supposed to take effect in September but now city staff are recommending a grace period until January so waste collectors can figure out how to deal with collection that doesn’t result in the penalty for them.

In his report, Waste Management Supervisor Dave Kuhn argues the residential levy would be needed to make up for lost revenue from “fully eliminating manufacturing and trade waste” at the landfill – another plan under consideration.

The report says there are alternatives for getting rid of those items, such as GFL Environmental in Moose Creek and it would free up space for household garbage at the Cornwall Centre Road landfill.

The city also acknowledges that increased fees and penalties for recycled material in garbage trucks will likely drive some commercial operators to go elsewhere.

Since the IC&I sector “heavily subsidizes residential waste collection,” lost tipping fees from collecting that waste will have to be made up elsewhere.

“Accordingly, at some point, consideration will have to be given to levy the residential sector to offset the loss of tipping fee revenue,” Kuhn writes.

“Administration will be proposing an inaugural levy to be applied to the residential sector which is designed to offset a portion of the costs associated with curbside waste collection and waste disposal. It is proposed that the levy be increased incrementally over the next few years until full cost recovery of residential waste services is achieved.”

No specific levy amount is mentioned in the report, but the plan is to have the landfill at least in a full cost recovery basis on the commercial side by July 2023 if its budget is approved.

The plans will likely be discussed during 2023 budget talks.