NEWS

White Rock residents to march on city hall over garbage

03/23/2015 08:00 EDT | Updated 05/23/2015 05:59 EDT
Several hundred angry White Rock residents are expected to march on city hall today at noon to protest new changes to garbage collection, which could cost them up to $400 per year.

White Rock recently announced plans to switch to a user fee model for soild waste pick-up.

Its website says up until now it's been one of the only municipalities in the Lower Mainland to include solid waste collection in the general tax levy.

"A user fee utility model increases customer awareness of the cost of providing the service as the rate is transparent rather than embedded as part of the municipal tax levy," wrote the municipality in a release from Mar. 20th regarding its financial plan.

In January 2015, the city announced the move to privatize multi-family and commercial garbage, recycling and upcoming organics collection.

However, it says it will continue to provide garbage, recycling and organics collection to detached single family homes and some small multi-family properties after June 30. 

The city is proposing a charge of $192 per household from July 1 to December 31 as a solid waste utility fee.

Not against new separation of waste

Some residents like Bill Vigars say that many home owners are completely unaware the city is privatizing garbage pick-up.

"They will be faced with an annual $400 cost for garbage service, over and above their general tax rate," he wrote in an e-mail to the CBC News. 

He says residents aren't against a new way of separating waste products, but the city has not engaged in "proper planning, communication and fair and equitable tax reductions for the removal of a core service."

White Rock's 2015-2019 financial plan will be reviewed at city hall today. 

Members of the public are able to comment on it.

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