The closure of a dump on the north shore of the Bay of Islands at the end of 2013 didn’t impact just one town.
McIvers Mayor Warren Blanchard said prior to the closure of the dump, which was shared with Cox’s Cove, his town was paying $11,000 a year for waste management.
“We’re paying double that now,” he said on Tuesday.
“We paid $100 a week to get it collected, now we’re paying $400 a week to get it collected and taken to Wild Cove. Plus we have a $42 a tonne tipping fee.”
And Blanchard expects the cost will more than double again in 2016.
That’s when the provincial waste management strategy is supposed to be completed. The plan then is that the Wild Cove landfill, which is now operated by the Western Regional Waste Management Authority, will be converted to a transfer station and all waste from the west coast will be shipped to a permanent facility in Norris Arm.
“They’re talking $200 a household there and our figures show that’s going to be up around $60,000 for us,” said Blanchard of the projected waste disposal cost.
For this year, Blanchard said the town has just absorbed the extra cost.
“We knew it was coming so we made provision when we did our budget last fall before the end of December.”
He said absorbing this year’s cost was possible because the town knew it would become debt free in March.
But he said that may not be possible in the future.
“Not if we’ve got to incur an infrastructure debt, which most likely we’ll have in the future. Then that’s going to put an extra burden on the council and if we can’t afford to do it then it’s going to have to go to the residents.”
Blanchard said the town has known the dump, which was located between the two towns, was going to close ever since the strategy was brought in by the Roger Grimes government in 2003-04.
“Their objective was to close all those little dump sites ... the 240 or 250 of them that were going to be closed.
“We’ve been fortunate to keep it open this long, in my view,” he said.
Still Blanchard said the town would have liked to see the dump remain open a little longer and had written to Western Regional Waste Management asking for a delay. Cox’s Cove also put out the same request, although Blanchard said the two towns never had a lot of communication on the issue.
“And neither one of them of course was accepted. When they were ready to close the dump site they closed it,” said Blanchard.