Regina moving forward on mandatory recycling program

The City of Regina is gearing up for a major recycling program — one designed to be good for the environment but also that will see families charged a yet-to-be-determined monthly fee.

The City of Regina is gearing up for a major recycling program — one designed to be good for the environment but also that will see families charged a yet-to-be-determined monthly fee.

On Tuesday, the city's works and utilities committee approved an administration plan that rewrites Regina's garbage bylaw, to include a mandatory recycling service.

City council approved the mandatory service in January, 2011, with the intent of launching it in July, 2013.

City officials outlined how an existing bylaw would have to be changed, in order to meet council's goal.

Paper, plastic, glass and tin cans are among the items people will be able to put into their individual recycling carts. The city wants to see less discarded material ending up in its landfill.

While garbage collection is paid for out of the general tax revenues, recycling will be paid for by the user.

Committee member Sharron Bryce, from Ward 7, supported the administration's plan.

"We decided to move forward with the changes to clarify any grey areas in the bylaw and procedures for waste management," she said after the meeting.

The city says it hasn't yet set a rate to be charged to families, but according to an administrative report, the cost for its  "enhanced" residential waste service is estimated at $220 to $240 per household per year. 

The average household already pays $110 a year, so the additional charge for recycling would be about $110-130 a year, according to the city.

Any new bylaw dealing with overhauling the garbage bylaw will also require city council approval.

Bryce added she hopes, in time, that Regina will have recycling bins available for people in public spaces, such as in the downtown area.

"Who wants to see a recyclable bottle sitting in the garbage?" she said. "You know you want to take that out, but you don't want to stick your hand in with a bunch of garbage."

Earlier this year, Saskatoon city council approved mandatory recycling programs for city residents.