Waste more and pay more: Regina looks to roll out changes to curbside pickup

Regina residents could be paying more if they produce more garbage, as the City of Regina looks to change its waste policy.

Changes could include bigger fees for bigger carts and permanent move to bi-weekly garbage pickup

Right now, homeowners pay a monthly fee for blue bin recycling but garbage pickup is paid out of tax revenues. That would be flipped under a proposal being discussed at city hall. (Ted Deller/CBC)

Regina residents could be paying more for wasting more, as the City of Regina considers a couple of changes to its waste program.

As part of the changes, residents using a bigger garbage cart will pay more on their utility bills, while those using smaller cart sizes will pay less.

People will be able to choose the lowest cost service option, depending on how much they can reduce their garbage.

Right now, Reginans pay for curbside recycling through a monthly fee on their water bills, but with the move to a sliding scale garbage fee, that recycling fee will be eliminated.

In 2011, Regina's city council came up with a goal to divert 65 per cent of household waste away from landfills by 2020. So far, the waste diversion rate has stayed stuck within two percentage points since 2014, between 18 to 20 per cent, according to the city.

Lisa Legault, director for solid waste, said the city can't move the needle on waste diversion beyond a maximum of 25 per cent, without new measures.

"The success of the City's waste management programs and services depends on the participation and support of our residents," she said in a press release.

City administration is also recommending moving to a bi-weekly garbage collection in the winter months, from November to March, on a permanent basis.

The City of Regina administration is proposing some changes to garbage collection. Its target is to reduce residential waste by 65 per cent, as of 2020. It comes up for discussion at city hall on June 7. (Kevin O'Connor/CBC)

The city had run a pilot project on the bi-weekly garbage pickup, and had run an online survey getting feedback. The city said that of the more than 12,000 residents that finished the survey, two-thirds agreed their household had adapted to the biweekly collection, while 61 per cent of survey respondents agreed with making the change permanent.

Under the recommendation, people would have the option to request a second garbage cart and pay an annual fee for its use.

The city says the changes reflects moves that other Canadian cities are taking, to encourage residents to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste.

Council will have to approve the changes, but the recommendations will be discussed at a committee meeting on June 7.