CS&B AGENDA
                                                JANUARY 9, 1997    

                             ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

                                           Date: November 29, 1996

   TO:       Standing Committee on City Services & Budgets

   FROM:     General Manager of Engineering Services

   SUBJECT:  Changes in Solid Waste Operations and Organization


        A.   THAT Council approve reducing the hours the Vancouver Landfill
             is open to the public, i.e., 7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., and staff
             report back within six months if further changes are required.

        B.   THAT $4,000 be provided from the Solid Waste Capital Reserve
             for advertising this change in operating hours.

        C.   THAT Council approve the addition of a Landfill Manager, and
             one Superintendent to manage the Vancouver Landfill, subject
             to classification by the Director of Human Resources, and
             these positions be largely funded through elimination of a
             CEII in the Solid Waste Management Branch and the existing
             Foreman at the Vancouver Landfill.  The net increase in costs
             will be funded from users of the Vancouver Landfill.

        D.   THAT temporary mobile office accommodation be leased for the
             Vancouver Landfill staff at approximately $15,000 per year and
             $5,000 be provided for truck rentals and $1,500 for cellular
             phones annually with funding provided from all Landfill users
             through the Landfill Operating Budget.

        E.   THAT office furnishings, office set up and computer equipment
             be provided at a one-time cost of $25,600 with Vancouver's
             share funded from the Solid Waste Capital Reserve and the
             remainder funded from other Landfill users through the
             Landfill Operating Budget.

        F.   THAT one diesel-powered, four-wheel drive pick-up truck,
             complete with City radio, be provided for the Landfill
             Manager, at a one-time cost of $40,000, funds to be provided
             from the Solid Waste Capital Reserve.


        The City Manager notes that these projects do not impact the
        Operating Budget and Council can, therefore, deal with these
        recommendations without impacting the public information and
        consultation process related to the 1997 Budget and taxation


   On February 4, 1994, Council resolved that departments and boards be
   instructed that any recommendations for increased staff or enhanced
   programs be accompanied by recommendations for matching cost decreases
   or related revenue increases in non-tax revenue, subject to Council


   The purpose of this report is to recommend reorganization of the
   Vancouver Landfill (VLF) and management to reflect both changing public
   needs and supervision requirements, while complying with operational and
   environmental demands.


   The Vancouver Landfill, owned and operated by Vancouver as part of the
   Regional Solid Waste Management Plan, serves Vancouver, University
   Endowment Lands, Richmond, Delta and White Rock.  Our costs of operation
   are shared with the Greater Vancouver Regional District users on a cost
   per tonne basis so that all expenses and savings accrue to Vancouver on
   a proportional basis; Vancouver is reimbursed 74% of costs by G.V.R.D.
   and commercial users.  Liability for problems at the Vancouver Landfill,
   however, affects Vancouver directly (although the G.V.R.D. shares some
   financial liability).  Accordingly, it is important and cost-effective
   for Vancouver to have adequate management and services at the Vancouver

   (1)  Vancouver Landfill Hours Open to the Public

   For many years, the hours the Vancouver Landfill, located in Delta, has
   been open to the public are as follows:

             Monday to Friday    7:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
             Saturday and Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

   In winter, usage of the Vancouver Landfill is less than three vehicles
   per hour after 6:00 p.m., while in summer, usage is generally less than
   10.  In 1989, the Vancouver South Transfer Station opened to both
   residential and commercial solid waste haulers.  Similar to the other
   waste disposal facilities in the Lower Mainland, the Vancouver South
   Transfer Station hours are 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. weekdays and 9:00 a.m.
   - 5:00 p.m. weekends (while the Recycling Depot closes at 6:00 p.m.).

   (2)  Vancouver Landfill and Vancouver South
        Transfer Station Staffing             

   It is important to have supervision at our facilities during public
   hours to handle inquiries from the public and resolve misunderstandings
   related to charges and acceptability of commodities.  It is also
   important to ensure our facilities have adequate supervision to manage
   environmental issues appropriately and comply with the Solid Waste
   Management Plan.

   Currently, the Vancouver Landfill is open to the public 92 hours per
   week (71 proposed), and the Vancouver South Transfer Station is open 69
   hours.  Together, these facilities are open to the public 161 hours (140
   hours proposed) and are supervised by three Foremen covering
   approximately 120 hours.  There is an obvious disparity between Foreman
   supervisory time and opening hours to the public of the two facilities.

   The only direct supervision at the Vancouver Landfill in Delta currently
   is provided by one Foreman working weekday dayshift.  With the
   environmental responsibilities and the changes in activities at the
   Vancouver Landfill, it is important to increase the level of supervision
   and technical expertise available to adequately administer the Vancouver
   Landfill operation.


   (1)  Vancouver Landfill Hours Open to the Public

   The Vancouver Landfill is under-utilized by the public after 6:00 p.m.,
   although it has been open until 9:00 p.m. each day of the week as a
   convenience to Delta and Richmond users.  Closing the Vancouver Landfill
   to the public at 6:00 p.m., would reduce the time the Vancouver Landfill
   requires direct supervision and could improve efficiencies.  This
   earlier closing time is in line with the other waste disposal facilities
   in the GVRD, but still allows a reasonable driving time for residents in
   the more distant sections of the three main tributary municipalities.

   By closing at 6:00 p.m., there is also the opportunity to generate some
   cost-savings since less personnel time is needed at the on-site
   Residential Drop Off Facility (RDO).  Savings would be mainly in a Scale
   Operator plus one Labourer II position.  The waste processing operation,
   however, of handling, placing, compacting and covering refuse would
   continue 24 hours a day as it is now to comply with Provincial

   It is proposed to undertake this 6:00 p.m. closing time change
   commencing in 1997.  If staff determine there is a need for further
   adjustments, Council will be apprised within the next six months.  Staff
   in the Municipality of Delta have been notified of this proposal, since
   this proposal would reduce convenience to Delta residents.

   To minimize inconvenience to the public, it is important that this new
   closing time is well advertised, especially in Delta and Richmond. The
   cost to advertise in local papers is estimated to be $4,000.

   (2)  Vancouver Landfill

   The Vancouver Landfill and Vancouver South Transfer Station supervision
   was last reviewed and revised in 1988.  Since that time, a number of
   significant environmental initiatives have taken place as summarized

   (a)  Composting Facility - a major composting facility has been added,
        including a 1.8 hectare paved surface, a grinding plant, a hopper
        and conveyer, a front-end loader, windrow turner, and trommel

   (b)  Propane Tank Flaring and Recycling - propane tanks are now brought
        to the Vancouver Landfill and the surplus gas is flared by City
        crews prior to recycling.

   (c)  Residential Drop-Off - expanded for a yard-waste collection bay and
        additional space for metals.  A new mattress recycling building is
        in use.

   (d)  Gypsum Recycling - small amounts of gypsum are being accepted in
        20-yard bins.

   (e)  Soil as Cover Material - soil from City excavation projects (rather
        than purchased sand from a contractor) is now screened on site and
        used as primary cover material.

   (f)  Asbestos - all commercial loads require a manifest.  It is disposed
        in trenches provided for this sole purpose.

   (g)  Other Hazardous Wastes - a drop-off facility has been constructed. 
        Trained City workers handle these products which are subsequently
        shipped off site.

   (h)  Leachate/Drainage Ditches - the ditches are regularly    being
        expanded to surround the expanded waste disposal areas. 
        Refinements were also adapted to store leachate in exceptionally
        wet periods and improve pumping capacity to the sewage treatment

   (i)  Landfill gas collection and flaring - Landfill gas has been
        collected and flared since 1991 and is due for further expansion
        and development of beneficial use.

   Our operation will require further substantial changes over the next two
   years to ensure compliance with Provincial regulations.

   To comply with the Waste Management Act, extensive engineering studies
   have also  taken place regarding:

        - Stability
        - Hydrogeology
        - Compaction

   In the l990's, the number and complexity of regulations governing wastes
   for disposal or prohibited from disposal have increased substantially. 
   In the short term future, more regulations and refinements are
   anticipated controlling waste products, e.g., cardboard and garden
   wastes.  The gas and leachate collection systems will also need to be
   expanded and utilization of gas must be implemented.  These expanded
   needs are both of an operational and engineering design nature and
   attract potential liability.

   To address these challenges, the focus of on-site management must be
   environmental compliance to bring the appropriate skills to the
   facility.  It is proposed that an on-site Landfill Manager position,
   with design capabilities, be created and appointed to supervise the
   Vancouver Landfill.  This is desirable to ensure compliance with the
   Waste Management Act, and our agreements with Delta and the GVRD.

   The detailed design problems associated with these types of problems
   will also require support from Engineering consultants from time to
   time, as well as possible secondment of other Engineering Department
   staff.  To support ongoing technical field work, it is also proposed to
   transfer the existing Landfill Technician position (Engineering
   Assistant IV) from the Solid Waste Management Branch to the Vancouver

   The existing Civil Engineer II position in the Solid Waste Management
   Branch would be eliminated, and much of the technical work would
   transfer to the new Landfill Manager.

   With the expanded complex responsibilities and increased technical
   knowledge requirements, combined with the environmental and public
   liability of managing the landfill, it is proposed that the supervision
   be provided by a Superintendent with the existing Foreman position being

   It may be necessary to provide additional front line supervision on
   weekends and after dayshift hours when many employees are working and
   the public is present.  The Landfill Manager with assistance from a
   Superintendent will undertake a detailed evaluation of the best way to
   meet those needs and report back to Council on this matter within six


   This report recommends the creation of two supervisory positions, an
   on-site Landfill Manager and a Superintendent I position.  It also
   recommends the elimination of a Senior Design Engineer (CE II) in the
   Solid Waste Management Branch, and a Labourer II, and a reduction in
   shifts for the haul-on truck and weighmaster at the Vancouver Landfill
   and elimination of a Foreman at the VLF.  These positions would be
   subject to a classification review by the Director of Human Resources.

   CUPE 15, CUPE 1004 and the Foreman's Association have been provided
   copies of this report and have indicated an interest in appearing as
   delegations to committee.


   The costs of operating the Landfill are recovered by charging VLF users
   for each tonne of garbage disposed (except Delta residential). 
   Twenty-six percent of the Vancouver Landfill costs are funded by
   Vancouver property owners and the other 74% of VLF costs are paid by
   other users of the Landfill (G.V.R.D. Municipalities and commercial
   haulers).  The recommended changes at VLF (excluding the RDO) would
   increase costs by $18,600.  The City's share of the cost, $4,800, is
   available from within the existing departmental operating budget.  The
   $70,700 decrease in RDO staff costs will impact RDO user fees.

   One time costs incurred by these changes are $65,600.  The City's share
   of these costs would be funded from the Solid Waste Capital Reserve
   (SWCR) with the remainder funded from other VLF users. (Details in
   Appendix A).


   It is proposed, to change the closing time at the Vancouver Landfill
   from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily with a report back from staff if
   additional changes are required.  This new closing time is consistent
   with other waste disposal facilities in the Lower Mainland.  The
   adjustment will permit some cost savings.

   An increased level of knowledge and supervision for the Vancouver
   Landfill in the form of an additional Landfill Manager and a
   Superintendent is also recommended, with the personnel costs
   substantially offset by staff reductions elsewhere in the division. 
   Office furniture, supplies and vehicles would be provided from the Solid
   Waste Capital Reserve and other VLF users.

                                     * * *
                                                                 APPENDIX A


   I.   Vancouver Landfill Reductions
        - Fewer Weighmaster shifts              ($ 27,800)
        - VLF Foreman                           ($ 61,100)
                                 Subtotal:                       ($ 88,900)

   II.   Additional Vancouver Landfill Supervision
         -  Vancouver Landfill Manager           $ 80,800
         -  One Superintendent I                 $ 71,400

                                 Subtotal:                        $152,200 

   III.  Reduction in Solid Waste Management Branch Staff

         Civil Engineer II                      ($ 66,200)       ($ 66,200)
   IV.  Additional Annual VLF Equipment Cost 

        Truck Rental                            $   5,000
        Portable Office Lease                   $  15,000
        Two cellular phones (2 x $750/yr)       $   1,500
                  Equipment annual costs:                         $  21,500

             Total changes at VLF (excluding RDO)                 $  18,600

   V.   One Time Costs

        One additional pick-up truck (diesel+4wd)
             (one-time costs)                   $  40,000
        Portable Office set-up                  $  10,000
        Office Equipment
        Computers (2 x $5830)                   $  11,600
        Furniture (1 x $4000)                   $   4,000
        Advertising change in open hours
             at Vancouver Landfill              $   4,000

                  Total "once off" costs:       $  69,600

   VI. Residential Drop Off Reductions
        - One Labourer II                       ($ 60,000)
        - Fewer haul-on shifts                  ($ 10,700)
                                 Total:                          ($ 70,700)

   Note all salaries are at medium range pay and include fringe benefits
   and extra pay grades for extra hours where appropriate.