The Environment and Infrastructure Committee reviewed tipping fee exemptions for charitable groups at the July 5 regional district board meeting.
The subject had come up previously at the Feb.12, 2009 meeting of the board of directors, who moved at the time to direct future requests for support from non-profit societies to be directed to the grant in-aid-process.
The problem of late night dumping of materials has plagued charitable societies throughout the regional district, which prompted CAO Bill Newell to reintroduce the issue to the board for further discussion. RDOS Board Chair Dan Ashton showed the directors a photo depicting a large quantity of household items dumped in the alley behind the Salvation Army’s Thrift Shop on Ellis Street in Penticton recently, explaining to the board that Salvation Army paid $40,000 in landfill fees to dispose of unwanted items such as these last year.
“Some of those costs are legitimate,” Ashton noted.
Keremeos Director Manfred Bauer spoke to the board of the Keremeos Ecumenical Church’s issues with illegal dumping, noting that an awareness campaign has helped to alleviate the problem. He expressed an interest in seeing the rural areas (“G” and “B”) assist in costs associated with a grant in aid to the church thrift shop, adding that a public awareness program that exposed illegal dumpers might have a suppressive effect on the problem.
Naramata Director Karla Kozakevich pointed out that the city should be paying for removal of the itiems left in the back alley of the Penticton thrift store, while Osoyoos Director Stu Wells commented that “People have an inflated idea of the value of their old stuff.” He said that the Osoyoos thrift shop bill for disposal was $25,000 last year.
“These are hard working people who do a lot of work for a little bit of profit,” Wells concluded, “I have a passion to get this right.”
Oliver rural Director Allan Patton considered all after hours material left behind as illegal dumping, adding that the regional district and the charities should be going after law enforcement. Penticton Director Andrew Jakubeit noted that much of the dumping was done as a last act by former residents, prior to leaving town.
“It’s tough to chase these people down to recover anything from them,” he commented.
The committee eventually elected to maintain the administrative recommendation, that being to support future requests from not -for – profit societies for tipping fee exemptions through the grant-in-aid process.