At Metro Vancouver disposal facilities, loads are inspected for banned materials, such as recyclables, product stewardship, or hazardous materials. Surcharges apply if these materials are found in the garbage. Metro Vancouver has created a digital application that is changing the way disposal ban surcharges are applied.
[Narrator] When you drive into a Metro Vancouver transfer station, you’ll likely see inspectors checking for materials that shouldn’t be in the garbage. They’re the frontline workers for a disposal ban programme, which encourages recycling and waste reduction and helps keep hazardous and risky materials out of the waste stream. Now, Metro Vancouver has created a first of its kind digital application that is changing the way disposal ban surcharges are applied.
[Joshua Ebinesan, Senior Business Systems Analyst, Metro Vancouver] So this application uses the camera in the device. This is the first time we have installed wireless network at the transfer stations. This device needs wireless communication so that we can transfer the data in real time.
[Narrator] In the previous paper-based system an inspector issuing a banned item surcharge would leave the tipping floor and follow the vehicle to the exit payment booth, in order to hand the ticket to the cashier.
[Nicole Peers, Disposal Ban Inspector General Manager, Southern Cross Holdings] The e-surcharge system is actually quite a bit easier than the old paper and camera section, it’s all in one. The other thing is it decreases the incidence of us making a technical error in the issuing of a surcharge. So there’s less likelihood of revenues being lost due to surcharges not being valid because of error.
[Narrator] There is a large variety of banned materials, which include fluorescent lights, paint, containers, electronics and batteries, mattresses, propane tanks, cardboard, and more.
[Brandon Ho, Senior Engineer, Metro Vancouver] One of the main benefits for the haulers is that they receive an instant email with the inspector. Once they save that surcharge into the system, it automatically sends an email, including the truck vehicle and the type of banned materials identified in that surcharge load.
[Narrator] Each year, over 1 million customers visit solid waste facilities across the region.
[Nicole Peers] I really like it in that it’s really improved our ability to be effective. We are helping people learn what should and should not be thrown in the garbage and helping direct them to the resources to find out for future loads they bring to the transfer station and it gives us a lot more opportunity to spend time with the customers.
Learn more information on the Disposal Ban Program, including the full list of banned items.