During council’s Nov. 9 meeting, Matthews took exception to the Burin Peninsula Regional Service Board’s fee for commercial waste disposal.
The board charges $90 per tonne for commercial waste at the landfill site near Jean de Baie, a rate Matthews believes is too high, especially considering transporting the garbage there also costs a hefty sum.
“What I don’t understand (is) Norris (Arm), which takes care of all of central Newfoundland, it’s $15 a tonne. Robin Hood Bay, it’s $65 a metric tonne. We’re paying $90 a tonne for our commercial waste,” he said during the meeting.
Matthews said the fee is hurting small, rural businesses. Consumers are also feeling the effects, he said, as the businesses have to raise their prices.
“Somewhere along the line the board is going to have to address why it’s costing so much,” he said.
Matthews said he knows of one business in Grand Bank that has paid over $60,000 on waste disposal this year. Some residents, meanwhile, have paid upwards of $2,000 to have commercial waste removed, he said.
“We’ve got to get that back to a semblance of what’s fair,” the mayor said.
Coun. Stan Burt likened rising costs to a form of resettlement, a sentiment with which Matthews agreed. Both said many people soon wouldn’t be able to afford to live in rural areas anymore.
Matthews also continued to voice concerns over indiscriminate and illegal dumping of waste in the region during the council meeting.
Anywhere there’s an access road, you’ll likely find garbage, he claimed.
“Every week I get a call on waste management issues for our community and outside our planning area,” he said.