Cost Accounting Models Used for Program and Transition Planning

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During this period of policy and program change and the uncertainty that it generates, it’s important for municipalities to consider new tools available for use that provide sound evidence to aid in the decision-making process. The tools currently in development by the CIF and its partners are cost accounting models.

Whether the Blue Box program transition happens sooner or later, an effective cost accounting model may aid your municipality in identifying and allocating the cost of the services you provide more accurately by activity, material type, tonnage, pick up, and a host of other factors. And in general terms, the models may help municipal staff identify many of the common variables that need to be reviewed during the planning and budgeting phase of a project or program change in order to generate estimated costs for activity-based costing comparisons. The models may also help identify separate costs and revenues for materials which currently receive funding from existing stewardship or EPR programs. This will allow for a proper review of any offers presented during/after transition by a steward organization.

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Cost accounting models are used to estimate or identify the full or partial costs of a program or a service. They can be also used to accurately price recycling services.

The CIF currently has available or is in the process of developing five separate accounting models.  They are:

Depot Costing Model

This model is designed to help plan costs to expand, construct and operate depots receiving under 500 tonnes/yr. of recyclables.

Landfill Cost Model

This cost model is designed to help determine the cost allocation of recyclables entering/consuming available landfill capacity. The model calculates the present value of the costs required to establish, operate and conduct post-closure monitoring over the life of the landfill and allocate these costs on a densified volume basis.

Curbside Collection Cost Model

This ABC Tool was developed for a workshop in 2016. It is an excel spreadsheet designed to help estimate the full costs of capital, staffing and other resources required to provide curbside collection services. See also the presentation and handouts from the workshop. To update the worksheet or for more information please contact Laurie Westaway.

Related: Project #965

MRF Materials Processing Cost Model

This ABC Tool is designed to help estimate and allocate the full costs of processing individual materials in a Material Recovery Facility. For more information, please contact Carrie Nash.

Blue Box Program ABC Cost Model

The intent of this model is to support municipalities and provide them with an understanding of the impact they may incur by transitioning to EPR/IPR or alternative options. (Watch this two-minute video of municipal staff explaining why Council decided to fund a major Activity Based Costing project).

It’s always important to remember that the information generated from the models are intended to provide a general understanding of the activity being examined and is not meant to replace qualified engineering, legal or other analytical advice.

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