Maple Ridge Coun. Gordy Robson opposes city-run collection of garbage. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge Coun. Gordy Robson opposes city-run collection of garbage. (THE NEWS/files)

City-run garbage and green waste plebiscite coming

Non-binding vote taken with local election ballots in Maple Ridge

When voters go to the polls in October to elect Maple Ridge council, they will also have their say about municipal garbage and green waste pickup.

The poll will be non-binding.

It will ask: “Do you support paying $X per year, per household, for a municipally administered waste pickup service with weekly kitchen scraps and green waste pickup, garbage pickup every two weeks and one set of totes/cans per household included.”

The cost of collection will be determined this summer.

Municipal engineer David Pollock said a request for proposals will be issued in July and August, and staff will evaluate them in September, and bring it back to council with a utility charge to be included in the question.

Pollock suggested if the next council supports the initiative, it could begin in fall 2019 or spring 2020, he said, adding winter would be a poor time to start.

Pollock said the pricing quoted in the request for proposals must be honoured for six months, to give council time to make decisions about a new system.

“I still don’t support it, but we will live with what the people decide,” said Coun. Gordy Robson.

He clarified that the new service would only apply to the area where the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society picks up, and that only voters in that service area will be polled.

“I would think it’s going to be an election issue,” he added.

He expects voters will want to know where council candidates stand on the issue.

The vote on solid waste will be separate from the municipal candidate ballots.

The recycling system will remain as it is now.

Under the proposal, there will be no opting out, and all residences in the service area would be charged on their annual property tax bills.