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.
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.
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.
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.