SASKATOON – The environmental and services committee discussed ways greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced in Saskatoon at Monday’s meeting. Environmental initiatives could include an anti-idling bylaw, which restricts vehicles from running for prolonged periods of time.
The city currently prohibits municipal vehicles from idling, but according to a report, implementing a city-wide bylaw could come at a hefty price.
Ward 10 Coun. Zach Jeffries says idling in school zones should be a top priority. He has also heard from several residents about school buses idling on residential property.
“School buses or other large diesel vehicles have been in the neighbourhood and idling for extended periods of time. And I’m of the opinion that something like that is not appropriate for residential neighbourhoods. I’d like us to be able to look at what options are available to ensure that isn’t happening where people are living,” he said.
City officials are now waiting on a full report before deciding whether or not an enforceable bylaw could be the next step. It would only apply to warmer temperatures.
Increasing the use of public transit is another way the city can meet its greenhouse gas targets. Plans to reconfigure bus routes are expected to finalize by summertime. The goal is to get more people out of their vehicles on onto public transportation.
A route along 8th Street is being planned, but Coun. Pat Lorje says she would also like to see a route along 22nd Street.
Council also agreed to hiring a consulting firm to redesign the city’s landfill, in an effort to divert much of the waste from the existing landfill.
While Lorje says she’s opposed to the idea, she hopes the communities close to the landfill will be consulted in the process.
“I don’t believe we should be having accountants changing designs to a landfill. I think that we need staff to design that. They know what is needed. And accountants are very good at numbers, it’s a very good profession..but not necessarily well versed in the intricacies of what you need in terms of redesigning landfill and ensuring we have construction waste going where it should be.”