I had coffee recently with Garry Nohr, Chair of the SCRD Board, it was during our discussion that he informed that the new contract for refuse (trash) collection had been signed with ...... Direct Disposal, well who would have guessed. SCRD along with the Town of Gibsons and the quaint village of Sechelt have collectively engaged our favorite trash guys for another two years but here is the best part you get to pay more for the privilege of having the exhaust spewing beast of a truck race down your street every week when you only put the trash out one a month. How much you say? Just a mere 11% ($42,000) and considering the rate of inflation was only 3.2% last year you should consider this a deal, your newly elected officials did. It should be noted that this is only for Areas B,C,D &E.

So your intrepid lone wolf hidden away in his lair in Halfmoon Bay for the last two weeks has been immersed in proposed budget expenses, past budgets back to 2007 and all kinds of other geeky stuff. I have decided it is time to take the gloves off and really do some trash talking.

I currently pay $108.81 per year for garbage collection and disposal, that is $2.10 per week, not a great amount of money but I only put my garbage can out every four to five weeks, say 12 times a year thatʼs $9.06 each time. I compost, recycle and shop wisely to reduce the waste I produce, I make every effort to have as little impact on the planet as possible.I have a hypothetical neighbour who consumes more than his fair share, is not interested in composting or recycling and every week his garbage can in full or overflowing, he pays the same as I. He is happy the way things are, garbage in, garbage out. There is no incentive for him to change his ways.

So how much does it actually cost to have my trash pickup you ask? A whole bunch of money. Just to confuse you the SCRD has three different categories under which they dole out your money for trash.

The first one is Sechelt Solid Waste (Landfill) which is specific costs associated with the Sechelt Landfill Site. All trash taken in pays a “Tipping Fee” which is currently $110 per ton. The Landfill is probably the only money maker in the SCRD and has shown a surplus year after year. It would show more of a surplus if it were not for what is called Admin Services which have increased by 44% since 2007 (inflation rate 7.32%) for a total of $119,088 in 2011.

The second category is Refuse Collection, that is Direct Disposal doing the weekly garbage collection. That was $640,971 in 2011 a 19.57% increase since 2007. So from this amount you subtract the Contract Amount (Direct Disposal), the “Tipping Fee” , and the Coupon amount which is that free coupon you get every spring to take stuff to the the landfill. You are left with $115,610.

The third is Regional Solid Waste described as “Cost to administer Refuse Collection”. A mere$348,676 (2011) with a 19.47% increase since 2007.Now are you still with me? This is were the fun begins. You now take that $115,610 and $348,676 and add them together, blend well in a large bowl and what do you have $464,286, a whole lot of money whichʼs only purpose is to “administer Refuse Collection”Isnʼt this fun, playing with your money, you know the money you worked for, the wizards up on Field Road get to have all kinds of fun with it and there is more.

Yes there is “one more thing”. Our favorite contractor, Direct Disposal, was really hard done by last year. For the period from March 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011 they say the price of their fuel went up so so much that they are entitled to a fuel rebate of, are you ready for this one? $13,500.

I found out that the price of diesel fuel on the coast is based on the “Vancouver Rack Price” plus 6¢ a litre to get it here plus the sellerʼs markup. So as of Feb. 28, 2011 the VRP was 83.9¢ a litre and the average price from then until Dec. 31, 2011 was 87.68¢ a litre. So the cost exceeding the Feb. 28 price was 3.78¢ a litre.How are you doing out there, still with me? So I figure dear old Direct Disposal is entitled to an extra 3.78¢ a litre if there contract price was based on the Feb. 28 value.

So at that price how much fuel is it you might ask? Well letʼs divide $13,500 by 3.78¢ and see what we get. Well look at that 357,142.8 litres of diesel fuel in ten months. That is an awfully big number, how much is that per day? 306 days in that 10 months = 1167 litres per day including Saturday and Sunday. I fill my car up once a week or so with approximately 50 litres.

If we take the Vancouver Rack Price average of 87.68¢ and add 6¢ for getting it here and a sellerʼs markup of say 12¢ you get $1.0568 per liter that Direct Disposal would pay. That would be a total of $1233.28 per day 7 days a week for 10 months to collect refuse from Areas B,C,D & E only.

See isnʼt Fun with Numbers a great game, if you have made it to the end of this you can reward yourself with a cookie and Direct Disposal gets to reward themselves with a whole bunch of your money, now you see it, now you donʼt.


The cost of refuse collection is going up 11%, $42,000 of your money and remember this does not include Gibsons or Sechelt which have separate contracts with Direct Disposal.It cost a ton of money to administer this, $464,286 to be precise. This cost has been increasing at 2.6 times the rate of inflation over the last 5 years. 

Direct Disposal is telling us that they spend $1233.28 a day 7 days a week on fuel to collect our refuse.There is another way, user pays, less frequency of pickups.


A present there is one tender for the four combined Areas. There is no competitive bidding. There is only one player in town big enough to bid the contract.

  1. Institute a user pays system.
  2. Have separate tenders for each area.
  3. Reduce the required Bid Bond for the tender.