Saskatoon’s city councillors will be talking trash Monday afternoon as they debate a proposed waste utility program.
City administration is endorsing the project, which would take waste management off property taxes and fund the division through a monthly utility bill.
A green organics bin would be added to curbside collection, giving people the option to divert food scraps and yard clippings away from their black garbage bins.
The “pay-as-you-throw” program’s monthly costs would begin at a minimum of $18, if residents choose to downsize to a 160-litre garbage bin — half the size of the current 320-litre bin every home is provided with.
A medium-sized cart — 240 litres —would start at $19.70 per month in 2020 and increase to $24.50 by 2023.
Keeping the current cart would be accompanied by an initial rate of $22.80, increasing to $36.50 a month by 2023 — or an annual cost of $434.50.
City administration told a council committee on Sept. 10 the rising costs for the medium and large-sized carts would be aimed at encouraging residents to downsize their bins.
They also noted Saskatoon’s waste management program is currently underfunded, and a two per cent overall property tax increase would be necessary to maintain the system.
Moving to a utility would take off the 3.5 per cent of property taxes currently devoted to waste management — $75 in savings for the average homeowner with a property valued at $371,000.
In June, members of city council’s environment, utilities and corporate services committee approved the recommended program by a 4-1 vote.
Ward 4 Coun. Troy Davies was the only councillor to oppose the program at committee, saying it should come forward during November’s budget discussions so residents can see all the costs they are being faced with for city projects before making a decision.
Council meets at 1 p.m.