The Rural Municipality of Rockwood is seeing red and is considering raising waste disposal and recycling fees.
At a meeting of council on March 27, it was revealed that the municipality’s four waste disposal sites and transfer stations have combined for a loss in each of the last five years with 2018 being the worst, totalling a $212,200 deficit. With the exception of the Teulon-Rockwood Waste Disposal Site, all of the sites have posted losses every year since 2014. Out of the $212,200, recycling accounted for $31,200 of the deficit with costs varying wildly from year-to-year due to a dependence on financial grants.
The Winfield Road Waste Transfer Station east of Stonewall posted more than half of the loss at $108,400 for 2018. The Balmoral Waste Transfer Station lost $44,400 last year, while the Komarno Waste Disposal Site had a shortfall of $19,200. Teulon-Rockwood was the closest to pulling even, losing $9,000 against income of $126,000.
“It’s a lot of cost … It can’t continue like this,” Ward 6 councillor Lyle Willis said at the meeting. Councillors also resigned themselves to the belief that waste disposal in the RM will never break even.
“What we should do is raise these fees up and then we’ll see what the difference is,” Willis added.
Ian Tesarski, director of operations for the RM of Rockwood, sent a proposal to council, with consultation from the Environmental Waste Committee consisting of Willis and Ward 2 councillor Curtis McClintock, for new rates at all four municipal waste sites.
Reeve Wes Taplin suggested that Winfield Road should adopt similar fees as the BFI Prairie Green landfill in the RM of Rosser, which is also used by the City of Winnipeg and the RM of West St. Paul. Waste Connections Canada, which owns the landfill, told The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times it charges $10 for three bags or less, $35 per half-tonne and $78 per tonne for vehicles larger than a half-tonne.
There was also a question whether or not Winfield Road was in violation of its licence by allowing Stonewall residents to use the facility, with the exception of programs from Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba such as oil and e-waste recycling. Rockwood CAO Chris Luellman confirmed to The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times that after checking with the province, Stonewall is, in fact, included in their licence.
Special meeting of council
As well as the council meeting, which was a committee of the whole, an abbreviated special meeting of council also took place on March 27.
- Council passed a resolution to go forward with a development agreement between the municipality and Meridian Developments. The agreement would allow the creation of 17 residential lots at the Meridian Meadows housing development in Argyle.
- A resolution was also passed for the RM to continue its membership with the East Interlake Conservation District, which will become the East Interlake Watershed District with altered boundaries.
- One week after the Town of Stonewall sent a letter to the RM of Rockwood in support of bidding for the 2022 Manitoba Games, the RM passed a resolution affirming its support of the joint bid. Both municipalities will send a letter of interest to Sport Manitoba expressing their interest.
- Council also gave first reading of the RM’s 2019 council indemnities, mileage and expenses by-law.