Recycling rates have become a hot topic in Wembley.
Council recently voted to increase the monthly recycling fee for its residents to $5 from $2.50 in December, said Noreen Zhang, town chief administrative officer.
Residents are now are being asked to weigh in on a survey regarding another increase. This one will be for additional services such as curbside recycling or additional communal bins.
“We’re looking at different options for residents,” Zhang said.
Town resident Lucky Innis said she is disappointed about a lack of explanation for the increase to $5.
“It is easy to speculate reasons behind it, but I would have hoped for some transparency,” Innis said.
Zhang said council made the decision to raise recycling rates partly because of a greater volume of recycling in the community.
Wembley currently has four communal bins including three bins for paper, tin and plastic and a larger bin for cardboard near the town office on 100th Ave., she said.
The recycled materials from the town bins are scheduled for pickup once per week at a cost of $37. However, increased use has necessitated pickup more than once a week, leading to a higher cost, Zhang noted.
Additionally, town staff has been cleaning up around the bins, she said. “If people see the bins are full they just put it by the side,” she said.
“They put everything and anything in there - we’ve had diapers, furniture and animal feces in there.”
Wembley residents pay $70 for one garbage bin; pickup is once a week at $17 monthly.
According to a letter Zhang sent to Wembley ratepayers, the $5 fee is effective Jan. 1 and will be reflected on Aquatera’s February bills.
“I am very happy see the town engaging with its residents to gather a general opinion,” Innis said of the current survey.
“It’s great that people will be heard and that the town is exploring all options.”
The survey on wembley.ca gives residents options for alternatives to the status quo, including curbside recycling.
The curbside option would result in a $7.50 monthly fee, according to the survey text.
Another option is adding more communal bins. There could be another for cardboard and another for paper, tin and plastic; additionally, Zhang said a communal garbage bin could be added.
According to the survey, additional bins with no curbside recycling would result in a rate of $5.50 per month.
The third option presented by the survey is curbside recycling and additional bins, at $9 monthly.
Zhang said the survey will be open until Jan. 31. The results will be reviewed by council during its next meeting on Feb. 8, she said.
Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News