Saskatoon

Saskatoon curbside recycling fees may increase from $5.66 to $7.50 in 2020

Homeowners in Saskatoon should expect to pay more money for curbside recycling next year as it could increase to $7.50 per month.

Black plastic, polycoat containers will no longer be accepted in new plan

Saskatoon city councillors will be debating the future of the curbside recycling program on Monday. (Courtney Markewich/CBC)

A city report headed to Saskatoon councillors indicates that curbside recycling rates are expected to climb to anywhere from $7 to $7.50 per month by next year.

That's an increase from the current rate of $5.66 per month that homeowners are currently paying. 

"We're not seeing the pricing for recycled materials that we used to see," said Russ Munro, director of water and waste operations. "We're not getting the funding back from selling these materials that we once did."

The City of Saskatoon's seven-year contract with Loraas Recycling to provide curbside recycling expires January 1, 2020.  Right now, it's in negotiations with a 'preferred vendor' for another recycling contract.

Any future program will stop accepting black plastics and polycoat (coffee cups), due to difficulty finding buyers that will recycle the material.

Councillors have multiple options in front of them. While council could exclude glass or Plastics 3, 4, 5 and 7 from the recycling program, the report said savings from each of those two options would be negligible.

Council could also vote to cancel the curbside recycling program completely, although administration is recommending against that option.

The company in negotiations for the contract will not be named until it signs a final deal with the city, which will likely come soon after council votes on the terms of what will be accepted in the program.

The city selected a preferred vendor from a list of companies that applied for the contract through a request for proposals but a final decision will not be reached until finer details are negotiated between the two sides.

Last year, council voted to remove plastic film (grocery bags, saran wrap) from the program. 

Earlier this year, it entered into a pilot program with SARCAN Recycling to accept glass recycling, as much of the material was broken during Loraas' collection and sorting process. Council will be voting on whether to extend this program as well.

According to the report, the curbside recycling program diverted about 8,500 tonnes of material from the landfill in 2018.

Roughly 10 per cent of the material collected by the program was contamination which cannot be recycled. Much of the recycling was cardboard and paper.

The issue will be dealt with at the Standing Policy Committee on Environment, Utilities and Corporate Services on Monday morning. 

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