February 14, 2005

Self-supporting waste program marks first rise in rates since expansion

Prince Edward Island's Island Waste Management Corporation (IWMC) has adjusted the rates levied for the provincial Waste Watch program for the first time since the program was expanded province-wide in July 2002. Since that time, says the IWMC, many operating expenses such as fuel costs have increased significantly due to global change. In addition, successful adoption of the program by PEI residents has meant that greater volumes of waste are being collected than expected; this in turn has also increased operating expenses. The IWMC, a Crown corporation, manages and administers solid waste management services throughout PEI, including the Waste Watch program.

"The Waste Watch program is unique to Canada for several reasons," said Gerry Moore, CEO of the IWMC. "In addition to being the only program of its kind to operate province-wide, the program operates on a full cost recovery principle. This means that the program is funded by household users and tippage fees rather than through government programs. This rate adjustment reflects part of our ongoing efforts, along with identifying operational savings, to properly balance revenues and expenses in the program."

The annual household user rate of $155 will rise to $175, while the rate for cottages will increase from $60 to $75; both adjustments will take effect with the new property tax bill in April. A rise in commercial tippage fees at final disposal centres from $80 per tonne to $95 per tonne came into effect February 1, along with Waste Watch drop-off fee changes.

The household user rate covers 71 household collections a year; a free Saturday morning Blue Bag drop-off; household hazardous waste drop-off; free drop-off of white goods such as appliances and other large, bulky household items; and a maximum cap of $15 per load for excess residential waste. This charge also covers the cost of regional Waste Watch drop-off centres, transportation costs for waste disposal, the East Prince Waste Management Facility, the Central Compost Facility, and continuing education and support services for Island business and residents.

Since the Waste Watch program went province-wide in 2002, nearly 600 million pounds of organic waste has been diverted from Island landfills, helping protect the Island's groundwater supply and positioning PEI as a national leader in responsible environmental stewardship practices.

More information is available from IWMC CEO Gerry Moore, 902/ 894-0330.

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