Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay administration recommends adding costs of recycling to tax bill

Thunder Bay city administration is recommending the cost of the city's recycling and waste diversion programs be shifted to the tax levy starting next year.

Program currently funded through landfill tipping fees

Jason Sherband, Manager of Solid Waste and Recycling Services. (Cathy Alex/CBC)

Thunder Bay city administration is recommending the costs of the city's recycling and waste diversion programs be shifted to the tax levy starting next year.

Jason Sherband, the city's Manager of Solid Waste and Recycling Services, said the current funding model, which sees the recycling and solid waste diversion programs funded through landfill tipping fees, is unsustainable.

"What we've found over time is that we're having to increase tipping fees at the landfill site over inflation," Sherband said. "And we're having to do that, in essence, to cover the cost to fund our waste diversion programs."

"When we looked at comparable municipalities in the province of Ontario, all these municipalities are funding waste diversion and waste collection from taxation - the City of Thunder Bay is only funding waste collection from taxation."

Under the proposed Solid Waste Financial Plan - which has not been approved by council - the programs would be covered by taxes starting in 2017.

"What we hope, is that will stabilize rates in the future so that we don't have to raise our landfill tipping rates above inflation, that we can keep those more balanced and in check," Sherband said.

The proposal was presented to council at a non-business meeting on Wednesday evening. No vote was held; the presentation was essentially for informational purposes.

The proposal will next be presented at the June 6 council meeting as a first report.

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