Garbutt not impressed with tipping fee changes
By Chad Ingram
Published Aug. 3, 3017
Jim Garbutt, owner of J. Garbutt Enterprises waste disposal company, is not happy about the new tipping fees for compactor trucks at the Scotch Line landfill in Minden Hills.
In April, council approved a new tipping fee structure for compacted loads at the site. While the fee had previously been $25 per cubic yard or $50 per cubic yard for loads deemed contaminated – containing too much recyclable material – the new structure instituted a flat fee of $35 per cubic yard for loads coming from compactor trucks. The flat fee was suggested by staff as a compromise and means of mitigating disagreements between landfill attendants and compaction truck drivers.
The $50 per cubic yard charge can still apply if landfill attendants deem that a load is contaminated. For construction waste, fees are $40 per cubic yard for sorted waste and $80 per cubic yard for unsorted.
During their July 26 meeting, Garbutt told councillors the tipping fee increases are putting an unjustified financial pinch on his business. “I’m just curious as to where this idea came from, and why it’s only for compactor trucks,” Garbutt said.
Garbutt’s company is the only local company to operate compactor trucks and he said when he got his first compactor truck back in 1988, it was a welcome sight to local municipaities, helping to save space in local landfills.
“And now, we seem to be being penalized, because we invested in those trucks,” Garbutt said.
He said his company can’t afford the tipping fee increases, nor can his commercial customers, whom he is reluctant to pass the cost increase along to. Because there are no scales at the Scotch Line landfill, Garbutt said employees must estimate the size of loads, something that can cause disagreements.
“If there was scales, there’d be no question,” he said.
What’s more, Garbutt said he also gets charged for bringing waste that has been mixed in with recycling at local transfer stations, back to the landfill. “We’re actually being charged for bringing the township’s garbage back,” he said, adding that one particularly bad recycling load contains at least six yards of garbage. “Somebody’s going to have to start paying for that nonsense.”
Reeve Brent Devolin told Garbutt his comments would be taken into consideration and that a staff report will come back to the council table.