Vancouver homeowners could be on the hook for a new street cleaning fee in next year’s budget.
The $19 fee replaces the $18 residents used to pay for recycling pickup and is aimed at tackling an increasing trash problem.
“Cleaning up the back lanes, dealing with litter, dealing with needle calls,” says Director of Waste Management Albert Shamess.
He says despite new fines this year, litter and dumping just keep escalating.
TRASHMAP: Click below to see the worst neighbourhoods for illegal dumping (via 311 complaints)
He says the new fee – worth nearly $4 million a year to the city – will fund staff and vehicles to keep the streets clean.
“When people dump stuff, if we don’t get out to get at it right away, it tends to attract more stuff. You know, if it sits there for four or five days by the time we get out to pick it up it’s grown four or five times.”
Shamess says many people don’t have a way to get rid of their trash.
“Not everybody has a car anymore, there’s a very good transit system and a lot of people walk, and we’re finding people are getting their driver’s license later, and in a lot of cases don’t have a car. So they don’t have a mechanism for getting their material from their home to the transfer station.”