Victoria city council reviewing motion to increase cruise ship waste dumping fees
VICTORIA -- Nearly 260 cruise ships docked in Victoria this past year, and many of them left behind some of their waste in the region's dump, the Hartland Landfill.
Now, Victoria councillor Ben Isitt wants to see the cost of cruise ship dumping in the Hartland Landfill increase to discourage it from happening.
"Even if the fee is already differential, it sounds to me like it isn't high enough because we're accepting unsustainable amounts of garbage," Isitt said Tuesday.
Currently, the Capital Regional District (CRD) charges $157 per tonne to dump international waste, like that generated on cruise ships at the Harland Landfill. The $157 charge is 43 per cent more than the normal cost to dump regular garbage there.
Tymac Launch Services, the company that carts garbage from the cruise ships at Ogden Point to the Hartland Landfill, notes that much of the waste that it collects ends up in the recycling, not the landfill.
Steve Hnatko, a representative for the company, says Tymac recycles and diverts more than 90 per cent of the waste it collects from cruise ships.
"We can divert 98 per cent of what comes to shore and 85 per cent of that is just recycling alone, with less than two per cent going to the landfill," said Hnatko. "That's a pretty good accomplishment."
Still, councillor Isitt is asking city council to get the CRD to increase the cost it charges for international waste, so that even less of it is disposed of at the landfill.
That motion comes on the heels of others from the council aimed at reducing emissions from cruise ships, and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) worries the collective impact of the motions could send an unwelcoming message to the cruise ship industry.
"A combination of factors happening, it certainly doesn't send a very positive signal," said Ian Robertson, the head of the GVHA. "But, Victoria plays a strategic role in the industry and the schedules are set two to three years in advance."
Isitt says the efforts are simply aimed at trying to get the cruise ship industry in line with current climate-conscious times.
"I think what we're having to do is drag the industry into the 21st century and in the direction of sustainability," said Isitt.
City council is expected to discuss the motion at council meeting this Thursday.