Extra garbage will cost $3 a bag in Calgary starting next year

The city's tag-a-bag program will launch in Calgary next year. It drops the monthly fee by 10 cents but adds a charge of $3 a bag to pick up extra garbage.

Black cart pickup expected to drop 10 cents a month with tag-a-bag program

Starting in 2020, the City of Calgary will charge $3 per tag for any extra garbage that doesn't fit into a black cart. Bags without tags won't be picked up. (CBC)

In an effort to get Calgarians to generate less garbage, city council voted Monday night to adopt a tag-a-bag program.

By a vote of 10-4, council approved a motion to launch the program, starting in 2020.

The program will feature a decrease in the cost of black cart service along with a tag-a-bag service that requires people to pay $3 for each additional bag of trash they put out for collection.

Black cart service is expected to drop by 10 cents a month.

That reduction represents the cost of picking up garbage that doesn't fit inside black bins, city staff told a council committee last month. These extra bags are picked up currently at no extra charge.

Council heard that kind of service is now rare in cities the size of Calgary. Typically, cities charge an additional fee for excess garbage collection.

During a typical collection cycle in Calgary, about four per cent of households put out additional garbage bags next to their black bins, city staff said.

Calgary has a colour-coded cart system for residential garbage collection. Blue is for recyclables such as cardboard and bottles, green is for food and garden waste, and black is for all other rubbish.