New fees will pay for new staffer who will oversee recycling/re-use of home demolition waste
GRAEME WOOD / RICHMOND NEWS
OCTOBER 28, 2015 11:17 AM
A new set of regulations and fees will be imposed on developers and homebuilders in Richmond in order to divert at least 70 per cent of single-family homes demolition waste away from landfills.
The new bylaw is in response to a wave of development, resulting from a combination of aging homes and a hot real estate market.
According to a City of Richmond planning report, there are, on average over the last five years, 510 houses being demolished annually in the city. Those houses represent about 20 per cent of demolition activity in Metro Vancouver, despite Richmond accounting for just under 10 per cent of the population.
“In light of the significant proportion of demolition waste originating from Richmond, actions to promote recycling of demolition waste are an important consideration to support established regional waste diversion targets,” noted the report.
Ergo, builders will soon pay (after city council unanimously endorsed the proposed bylaw on Monday) a $250 non-refundable fee and $2 per square foot of demolished floor space that will be refunded if the builder meets the 70 per cent threshold.
The city will use the fees to pay for a new inspector, whose sole duty will be to enforce recycling/re-use.
The recommendations from city planners are based on Metro Vancouver regional guidelines and a pilot program conducted by city staff. The pilot found the status quo resulted in a 51 per cent waste diversion rate.
The pilot also found that 90 per cent diversion of waste could also be achieved, but it would cost the builder 40 per cent more money to do so. The bylaw is said to be a compromise with builders, and the city hopes to increase the threshold to 80 per cent in time.
As well, the fees were reduced at the behest of the Richmond Small Builders Group, following consultation.Coun.
Carol Day, who suggested a larger fee at one point this year, said “this is just the beggining,” and noted she would like to see more waste reduced as soon as possible.