Saskatoon city council is continuing to explore the possibility of turning waste collection into a utility.
Councillors voted 7-4 on Monday in favour of asking administration to collect more information on what a new waste utility would look like, including how monthly bills would be calculated for residents.
The proposed shift would reduce the 2018 property tax increase by four per cent, but would add a new bill for users based either on the size of their bins or the weight of their garbage.
Previous reports from administration have pointed out that garbage collections costs $3 million more each year than what is collected under the current funding model. A shift to utility billing has been touted as a way to recoup those losses.
“We know we have to recover that somehow,” Ward 1 Councillor Darren Hill said at council
“Do we recover it from every single residential utility bill? Or do we recover it from the people that are actually throwing away more garbage, and make them more responsible for their waste?”
Hill supported exploring the utility option along with councillors Zach Jeffries, Hilary Gough, Cynthia Block, Sarina Gersher, Mairin Loewen and Mayor Charlie Clark.
Councillors Randy Donauer, Bev Dubois, Troy Davies and Ann Iwanchuk voted against.
Donauer said he couldn’t support the motion, since it would likely raise costs for residents.
“This is not going to save people money, it’s not going to be a financial wash,” he said.
“At the end of the day the bill is going to go up.”
Council will vote on whether to make waste collection a utility when administration returns comes back with its report later this year.