White Rock announced changes to multifamily and commercial waste pick up.

White Rock announced changes to multifamily and commercial waste pick up.

Change in wind for garbage pickup

Privatization pursued for commercial and multifamily waste in White Rock

White Rock businesses and residents of multifamily developments are about to change the way their trash is picked up.

The city announced this week that it will privatize commercial and multifamily recycling, garbage and organics collection.

The decision to move to the private sector came from options laid out in White Rock’s Solid Waste Review Report in late 2014.

Acting chief administrative officer Tracey Arthur told Peace Arch News Tuesday that once a date has been set, businesses and multifamily units will be responsible for choosing their collection service.

“Because it’s being privatized, it’s not a contract per se, so the city won’t be involved,” Arthur said. “It would be up to individual businesses and the stratas to hire a private contractor. So, I’m thinking there may be many of them.”

The change is “fair and equitable” and will benefit businesses, who will now be charged by weight, rather than the assessed value of their property, according to a news release sent Tuesday.

For multifamily units – including a number of condos – that were already using a private collection company, a general tax levy based on a property assessment will no longer be charged.

“There are many (multifamily units) that we do know that do have private collection that are being charged by the city, as well as a flat rate, so in those cases, they’ll definitely be saving some money,” Arthur said. “(The city) didn’t have a way to not charge for that. So everyone was being charged that rate.”

The city is currently working on a transition plan to help those affected and will provide feedback, along with engaging community partners, and will later identify a date when the changes come into effect.

The system currently in place for commercial and multifamily units was no longer feasible for the city, the news release states, due to new regulations and Metro Vancouver targets.

As an exploratory measure, the city will also issue a request for proposals on contracting out single-family home collection to review current operating costs and services, and determine how it compares to the private sector.