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Area waste commission outlines 2021 plans

Nine per cent reduction in municipal fee for service
MVT stock Didsbury landfill
A truck passes over the scales at the Mountain View Regional Waste landfill north of Didsbury. File photo/MVP Staff

CREMONA - The Village of Cremona council has been given an update on Mountain View Regional Waste Management Commission (MVWC), including plans and budgets for 2021 and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The review came during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

The commission coordinates the management and disposal of solid waste or the municipalities within Mountain View County. Each municipality, including the Village of Cremona, has an elected official on the board.

Commission CAO Michael Wuetherick said the organization is budgeting for 21,888 tonnes of waste received, with 15,000 tonnes from commercial sales.

That compared with total receipts for 2020 of about 23,500 tonnes, with 15,200 from commercial sales.

“Overall the strong return of commercial tonnage to the Didsbury landfill continues to exceed the commission’s current business plan goals and has stabilized the financial performance overall,” he said in a letter received by council.

As a result of the establishment of financial competitiveness, the commission is able to reduce the combined municipal fee for service to its members for a second year in a row, he heard.

The approved 2021 municipal fee for service is $24.73 per capita, representing a nine per cent reduction compared to 2020, and 29 per cent lower than the 2019 municipal fees.

The MVWC board recently passed a motion to maintain the current level of service whereby the commission will continue to manage the contract hauling from the regional unmanned recycling centres for 2021 and beyond, members heard.

“We improved management oversight over the contractor, we are confident that the commission can deliver all solid waste management services to members including the recycling centres,” he said.

The 2021 budget is based on total revenues of $3.29 million, with $2.43 million from sales and the remainder from municipal fees for service.

The plan is to maintain transfer tipping fees of $225/tonne at the Water Valley and Sundre transfer stations, with the Olds transfer station remaining closed and listed for sale on the public market.

The commission will be implementing a $10 per unit fee for mattresses to offset the added costs of labour for sorting, shredding and handling mattresses and box springs before landfilling.

The commission currently has combined unrestricted and restricted reserves of $3.03 million, including $1.5 million of unrestricted reserves.

The 2021 capital budget includes a $1.45 million project to construct the new landfill cell, with construction set to begin in spring 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to an increase in waste being handled by the commission, he said.

“Tonnage (increased) in 2020 reflects the impact of people cleaning out their homes, garages and yards while in isolation,” he said. “And also recyclables directed to the landfill due to closures at recycling processing plants earlier in 2020.”

Commercial tipping in 2020 is projected to be more than 18,000 tonnes, compared with 13,974 in 2019 and 9,371 in 2018.

“COVID-19 introduced a whole set of new issues and challenges to overcome,” he said. “As an essential service the commission remained open throughout the early shut-down in March-June and administration and the board wish to acknowledge the extraordinary performance of all the commission’s staff during the year.

“To date we have not had any lost time as a result of COVID-19, and our sites remain open and procedures to maintain the safety of staff and the public as a whole have been effective so far.”

Village chief administrative officer Aaron Gertzen said council received Wuetherick’s report as information.

Dan Singleton

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