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City proposes ‘pay as you throw’ garbage cart system

The City of Saskatoon administration is recommending a pay as you throw waste utility and city-wide organics program. Tyler Schroeder / Global News

The City of Saskatoon is done talking trash and is looking into making changes to curbside residential waste.

City administration is recommending a pay as you throw waste utility and city-wide organics program to be launched before the end of 2019.

READ MORE: Saskatoon city council votes to develop user-pay garbage collection model

The creation of a pay as you throw utility for garbage collection, would charge different fees for different size carts. For example, the smaller the cart is, the lower the price would be.

“Basing a future utility charge on the size of one’s cart has proven to be an easy to understand option, but has a higher probability for residents to take personal waste matters into their own hands to control their own costs,” said Brenda Wallace, the director of environmental and corporate initiatives.

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The city hopes the choice will act as an incentive to reduce garbage, by wasting less and encourage composting and recycling.

Administration is also suggesting a year-round city-wide organics program be implemented, to bring in a single green cart for food and yard waste.

“Our recommendation is we are introducing a third cart,” said Wallace. “Black for garbage, blue for recycling and now green for your organics.”

City officials are suggesting up to $8.5 million be approved for the procurement of green carts.

Homeowners currently pay for waste removal through property taxes.

In September, administration will provide recommendations on transitioning from property tax funding to a utility, as well as other financial aspects.

The city said engagement activities in part of the Saskatoon Talks Trash campaign helped inform the recommendations. According to Wallace, 5,000 residents participated.

READ MORE: Saskatoon city council approves garbage service changes to save money

The new proposals will go before the city’s environment, utilities, and corporate services committee on June 11.

The city has set a goal of 70 per cent waste diversion from landfills by 2023.

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