Waste not, pay less

J.R. Rardon lets taxpayers know they can save a lot of future tax pain by reducing their garbage output through recycling and using the free drop service for appliances, tires, and yard debris.

The reality of physics is hitting North Island ratepayers in the wallet this week.

The portion of 7 Mile Landfill first opened in the mid-1990s is nearing the limit of its capacity and its final cover is scheduled to be placed next summer.

That has necessitated construction of an expansion, Phase III, accompanied by new capital expenditure and financing.

And as RDMW treasurer Joe Mackenzie warned the board of directors last week, this won’t be the last input of financing required by the landfill. In 2022, Phase IV is slated to begin.

The Regional District has taken some admirable steps to mitigate the financial impact, including measures that extended the life of the current Phase I and Phase II areas from 2010 to 2012.

Extending Phase III beyond 2022 — and reducing the tax hit from the subsequent expansion — will be partly up to the public, by reducing the waste stream into the landfill.

That means sorting materials before they go out to the curb, using recycling centres in Port McNeill, Port Hardy and at 7 Mile, and taking advantage of free drops of items like appliances, fine yard debris and stewardship product programs for car and light truck tires.

It’s a dirty job, but everyone’s got to do it.

Or pay the price.