Saskatoon committee approves ‘Pay-As-You-Throw’ garbage pickup for council vote

Click to play video: 'Coun. Ann Iwanchuk opposes Pay-As-You-Throw waste utility' Coun. Ann Iwanchuk opposes Pay-As-You-Throw waste utility
WATCH ABOVE: Ward 3 Coun. Ann Iwanchuk explains why she is opposed to the Pay-As-You-Throw waste utility proposed for Saskatoon. Jackie Wilson has more – Sep 12, 2018

Saskatoon city councillors have moved another step toward Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) garbage pickup.

Monday’s standing policy committee on environment, utilities and corporate services meeting heard administration recommend bi-weekly pickup, and dropping waste collection from property taxes, with residents instead paying a monthly utility bill.

The proposed system means people will pay for garbage collection based on the size of their bin – not weight. The bigger the bin, the more they’ll pay.

READ MORE: Saskatoon reveals potential costs for ‘pay as you throw’ garbage program

Increasing the cost by use is intended to encourage people to reduce, reuse, and recycle more.

The city said a PAYT utility system is common across North America and is similar to how water and electricity are charged where households pay according to the amount they use.

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According to an administrative report, there is an estimated property tax rate reduction of 3.5 per cent under this model. However, because the city is proposing a 4 per cent overall increase, the net effect under this model would result in a 0.5 per cent property tax increase in 2019.

READ MORE: After rough ride in committee, Calgary shelves pay-as-you-throw program

Brenda Wallace, the city’s director of environmental and corporate initiatives, said in February three-quarters of what goes into Saskatoon’s landfill could be diverted, extending the life of the landfill.

She added the costs to close the landfill and establish a new one are estimated at $26 million and $100 million, respectively.

The PAYT system is expected to go before city council for a final decision on Sept. 24.

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