Central Saanich leaf service doesn’t make the cut

High cost, no drop-off site contributes to Central Saanich committee decision.

  • Mar. 13, 2015 5:00 p.m.

It’s highly unlikely Central Saanich will implement a municipal service to provide curb side pickup or drop-off service for leaves and yard waste.

The Public Works and Transportation committee met Monday, March 9 to discuss options after receiving a request from a resident in November for a municipal yard waste removal service to mitigate smoke from residential burning.

District staff prepared a summary of potential costs for both a municipally-run drop-off site and for a pickup service, and compared the costs with existing private options.

To have a municipal drop-off service open to the public eight times through October and November would cost the District approximately $2,500 in wages; to have it open year-round for a total of 46 days would mean $30,000 in wages.

Capital costs to acquire grinding equipment, vehicles and transportation could be as high as $60,000 based on the equipment selected.

Costs to residents to dispose of yard waste could range between $50 and $150 per ton.

A pickup service providing one collection per year would cost between $23,000 and $51,000 in wages, with capital costs ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 for equipment, based on either repurposing existing vehicles or purchasing new equipment.

Disposal fees for residents would again range from $50 to $150 per ton.

Private services, in comparison, cost roughly the same for large volume drop-off, and $7 to $20 per carload for smaller volume of yard waste.

Additionally, the suggested sites for a drop-off service pose significant challenges. Central Saanich’s public works yard is already limited in space due to ongoing gravel extraction, and the location across from the works yard is not zoned for such a service.

As a result, the committee agreed unanimously against developing a municipal service, as District residents already have cost effective options for leaf and yard waste disposal, and are able to choose which best suits their needs.

Council is expected to ratify the decision at this Monday’s meeting.