The Public Works Manager recommended that the Council of the Township of Whitewater Region direct staff to proceed with a request for proposals to purchase and install a weight scale at the Ross Landfill Site.
Lane Cleroux said that the three primary fee types for landfills are volume, vehicle classification and weight, with each having ‘advantages and disadvantages’.
“Charging by weight is the most accurate and fair method. It’s cut and dried for fee.” He said. “It has some drawbacks. It charges for air weight as well as density, and there’s the cost of the purchase of the scales.”
He said that there’s also site operation issues, where all traffic is funneled into a specific area and often requires driving over the scale twice.
He said that they would have to do surveying, which is done annually, but suggested moving it to bi-annually
He said they could compare curbside pickup and leaf amounts with the scales and determine usage changes from year to year.
“Scales have been talked about over the years.” He said, and cited the Ross feasibility study.
He said the financial cost would vary by the length of the scale, with 40-foot being the most common, but would not be able to accept transports.
“We only had two this year.” he said.
He said the pricing ranged from $$125,000, which the prices changing every week due to fluctuating steel prices, which the scales are made of.
He said a computerized system would be included that could track each load and allow quick change of prices.
He said any site improvements in gates or the landfill were not included in these costs.
Councillor Jackson asked if they were ‘jumping the gun’ with the scale purchases, as they were originally scheduled for 2022, and wanted justification for the budget being pushed up.
“The 2021 budget included the site review.” Trembley said. “We got a directive to look into weight scales now, which can occur at the same time as the site evaluation. As JP2G finalized the site plan, they can also look at the weight scales. Ordering them now would ensure they are ready. It’s whether or not you want to proceed now, or wait.”
“The feasibility is on the expansion side.” he said.
Councillor Jackson asked how difficult it would be to move the scales should the site require expansion.
“This couldn’t be installed in the winter-time” Cleroux said, due to the concrete slab and other installation work.
“I think we need to have a more fulsome idea of the cost of the scale.” Jackson said. “I think we need to know more about how we’re going to get to the scale, that we know. It’s fine to know that the cost is between $75,000 and $125,000, a $50,000 distance, but it also says it may go to 40-80 feet. Isn’t that something we’re hiring JP2G to determine what we require?”
“With an 80-foot scale, it would take a lot of real estate up.” Cleroux said. “One of the things we’re looking into is what are our longest vehicles. That would dictate what kind of scales we’ll need.”
Councillor McLaughlin said: “I wanna do this, I like the idea, I want to do it once and I want to do it properly. I don’t understand what the rush is. I say stay with the structure we have now until we’re absolutely sure we want to go for this. I think when people see we’re moving forward, they’ll be amenable to what we have now.”
Councillor Nicholson asked how they were going pay for it, which Cleroux said an RFP would be better than tendering.
“We’re not experts on scales.” he said. “[With RFP] They could submit proposals to us, and we can rank them based.”
“JP2G is not divorced from this process.” Trembley said. “We are under the understanding that weight scales was the controversies regarding this process. We’re not going to buy something and plop it in the middle of this, we’re going to put it into a fulsome review of our facilities.”
Councillor Olmstead asked if they were just seeking information on it, which Cleroux confirmed that there wasn’t an obligation to act.
“There’s more outs and we can suggest as Council what direction to go.”
COuncillor Jackson asked what the addition cost would be to have people ‘in the wayhouse’ for the scales, and what staff would be used there.
Cleroux said that they would propose “The curbside collection at Millers, or even the public works staff could have a keyfob when they went onto the scale that can track it even if not there.”
Councillor Nicholson Offered that when they accept the results of the RFP, they have a complete layout report.
“It’s going to take years of data, but with a system like this you’d have that data. It would allow you to more accurately set your fees.” Said Treasurer Sean Crozier. “With the data, you can forecast the fee and come up with a fee that’s more fair for everyone.”
Reeve Regier said she thought they would have to change the proposal if they were just ‘seeking information’.
CAO Trembley said that the RFP would ensure they “outline the site we have and what we’re generally looking for ,and when that comes back we can confirm that.”
The motion was carried.