The City of White Rock will be purchasing two replacement recycling trucks – at more-than-estimated cost – because they will feature on-board compaction, reducing problems of material transfer at the city’s Kiel Street operations yard.
At its July 27 meeting council approved the purchase of the two replacement trucks – part of the city’s single family waste pickup services – from Langley-based Rollins Machinery, for $820,000 (excluding GST).
That’s $304,000 more than was budgeted for replacing the trucks, but council agreed with staff and consultants’ assessment and recommendations – voiced by engineering and municipal operations director Jim Gordon – that it would be worthwhile because on-board compaction will allow direct transfer of recyclables to external disposal facilities.
Sole vote against the recommendations came from Coun. Anthony Manning, who favoured investigation of leasing options before deciding on the purchase.
Under the current system, recyclables, along with greenwaste and garbage, are taken to the operations yard for transfer, where they attract birds and rodents, and have led to other pest issues, resulting in complaints from neighbourhood residents.
Staff is advocating on-board compacting for the city’s other residential collection vehicles; two greenwaste trucks and one garbage collection truck.
All are overdue for replacement – as Gordon’s report on the purchase notes, “the option of further extending the lives of these five vehicles is not viable, given that one of the vehicles is scrapped due to safety concerns and the other four are becoming increasingly difficult to keep operational and safe.”
He further notes that “a contract vehicle is currently hired to replace the scrapped vehicle and is increasing current cost considerably.”
Gordon said that, due to the higher-than-estimated cost for the recycling vehicles, replacement for the three other vehicles – soon to be put out for ‘requests for proposal’ to suppliers – will require a financial plan amendment in the fall and adjustments to the 2021 budget process.
Some of the cost will be recovered, he added, through lower operating expenses due to eliminating transfer at the operations yard.
The city is currently studying whether it should provide multi-family and commercial pickup again. If council decides to resume these services, Gordon added, additional and different vehicles will have to be added to the city’s fleet, as units will have to be able to pick up overhead bins.