Waste less, save more: District of Squamish Council moves to freeze 2021 Solid Waste Utility fees for residents with small garbage totes

Squamish residents can now save on 2021 utility fees by making the switch to a small 35-gallon garbage tote size. Between January 21 and February 12, residents will be able to submit an online request for a small garbage tote to be delivered later this spring. The incentive aims to reward residents for reducing their amount of household waste disposed by maintaining last year’s fee for the small tote size. Residents can submit a tote exchange request here through February 12. 

“We have accelerated our waste reduction targets to reach our goal of zero waste by 2040, and achieving this goal will require all of our residents to rethink, reuse, reduce and recycle,” says District of Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott. “We know there are many members of our community who are putting the extra effort into diverting household waste from the landfill and the goal of this incentive is to encourage more residents to do the same. We all have an important role to play in diverting waste from the Landfill and when we do, we will help to extend its life span and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Solid Waste Utility Fee for a small garbage tote will remain at $200 for 2021, while the fees for medium and large garbage totes will increase to $345 (from $295) and $540 (from $460), respectively. These increases are necessary in order to cover financing costs for the Landfill vertical expansion, and increasing costs for solid waste services and material diversion. 

A small 35-gallon tote will hold approximately 1 to 2 standard sized (75L) garbage bags. Garbage will continue to be collected every two weeks with the continued option of bringing excess materials to the Landfill if there is more waste than what will fit in your tote. Since the District is not raising utility rates in 2021 for water or sewer, those who convert to the small 35-gallon garbage tote will not see a utility rate increase in 2021. 

Practice these tips to reduce your household garbage: 

  • Place food scraps and food-soiled paper in your organics tote. 
  • Drop off recyclable packaging that isn’t accepted in the curbside collection program at the Queens Way Recycling Depot or Landfill Recycling Depot. This includes glass containers, plastic bags, white foam packaging, and cardboard (large quantities). 
  • Download our What Goes Where Guide for household waste sorting and diversion tips.
  • Enter an item using our Waste Wizard look-up tool for a list of disposal options.
  • Download the Squamish Curbside Collection app for collection schedule reminders and waste sorting tips by phone, email or text.
  • Buy bulk when possible and consider purchasing items without packaging. 
  • Reuse or repair items before replacing them with new ones, and donate any unwanted items for someone else to give them a second life. 

Fast Facts:

  • Household garbage accounted for approximately 31% (3,700 tonnes) of Landfill waste in 2019. The remaining 69% is comprised of waste from businesses, and construction/demolition activities.
  • Over 70% (7,600 tonnes) of Landfill waste could have been reused, recycled or composted in 2019.
  • Over 30% (or 3,500 tonnes) of Landfill waste in 2019 consisted of food scraps and food-soiled paper that could have been diverted to organics recycling.

The District of Squamish Strategic Plan outlines a per capita landfill waste reduction target of 300 kg and increased diversion rate of waste from landfill to 80% by 2021. To learn more about the District's Zero Waste Strategy and visit squamish.ca/zerowaste. 

January 21, 2021

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