Saskatoon moves closer to charging homeowners for garbage pickup

A report released Wednesday proposes a variable garbage pickup utility rate for Saskatoon homeowners. File / Global News

The City of Saskatoon is moving closer to charging homeowners for garbage pickup.

A report released Wednesday is proposing a variable waste services utility rate.

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Homeowners would be charged on how big the garbage cart is, or how often it has to be picked up.

The report stated expanding the waste services utility could reduce property taxes and transfer the cost of some or all of the cost of waste management services to a monthly bill.

Brenda Wallace, the city’s director of environmental and corporate initiatives, said the hope is to motivate people to do more recycling or composting.

“An expanded waste utility could provide residents with more control over the amount they pay, by reducing the amount of waste they throw in their black cart or garbage bin – extending the life of the landfill,” Wallace said in a statement.

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“We put almost 100,000 tonnes into the landfill every year, but more than 75 per cent could be diverted through programs like recycling and composting.”

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The city has set a target of diverting 70 per cent of waste from the landfill by 2023.

The report said that in 2016, only 22 per cent of waste was being diverted through city-wide programs, the second-lowest diversion rate among Canadian cities.

It added that it would also allow the City to build a sustainable funding model and extend the life of the landfill.

The report will now be the focus of community discussions the City is planning for the fall.

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