Saskatoon

Pay-as-you-throw pricing recommendations for Saskatoon range from $18 to $36 per month

City Administration has released recommended pricing for pay-as-you-throw garbage and organics collection in Saskatoon.

City administration to provide city council with reports to inform final decisions

The three garbage bin sizes are all compatible with the city's current garbage trucks. The largest is the current bin size. (CBC)

Saskatoon city administration has released recommended pricing for pay-as-you-throw garbage and organics collection, which would see locals pay different amounts based on the size of bin they use. 

They're recommending the new program be funded as a utility instead of from property taxes. Prices would start at a base rate per month and then increase annually over several years.

The change would reduce property taxes by about 3.5 per cent.

City council will be able to choose from three options:

  1. Different pricing by bin size with traditional rate increases.
  2. No rate increases for the small bins while applying higher rates to larger bins over a longer period of time.
  3. No rate increases for the small bins while applying higher rates to larger bins over a short period of time.

The suggested price for the small 180-litre bins is $18 per month and only nominally increases in price along under the first option.

The medium 240-litre bin starts at around $20 per month and can go up to as high as $24.50 under the third option.

The large 360-litre bins, which is the same size as the current bins, start at around $23 per month and can go up to $36.20 under the third option.

None of the pricing is set -- city council will decide what the final numbers will be.

Most people could switch to smaller bin

Increasing the price of the medium and large bins over several years will give people time to figure out what works for them and switch to the smaller bins, said Russ Munro, director of water and waste stream with the City of Saskatoon.

But most people in Saskatoon likely wouldn't find it a challenge to make the switch, he said.

"What we found in looking at the waste in Saskatoon right now is that the majority of residents could already switch to a smaller bin, and that's without even taking into account the organics program," Munro said.

The recommendation is to have bi-weekly garbage collection and bi-weekly organics collection year-round, rolled into one utility fee.

Munro said the pricing is comparable to other Western Canadian cities and that the program could help the city get closer to its waste reduction goals.

"Pay-as-you-throw and organics has increased diversion in some communities upwards of 40 per cent," he said.

The new program will be implemented throughout 2019, with the program going live in 2020.

That means 2019 will also be the last year for the subscription green cart program.

The pricing would also be in addition to the current $5.65 per month recycling fee. City Administration is not recommending making any changes to the current recycling program.

About the Author

Ashleigh Mattern is a reporter and copy editor with CBC Saskatoon and CBC Saskatchewan, and an associate producer with Saskatoon Morning. She has been working as a journalist since 2007 and joined CBC in 2017. Email: ashleigh.mattern@cbc.ca.

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