January 28, 2019 8:36 pm

Saskatoon city council moving ahead with organics program

WATCH ABOVE: A Saskatoon city councillor has put forward a motion to pull back on a planned organics program in the city. Rebekah Lesko with the details.


City councillors are moving ahead with the single-family residential homes organics program funded by property taxes in Saskatoon.

Coun. Randy Donauer put forward a motion that the proposed organics program be put on hold until further notice. It was defeated in a 6-5 vote on Monday afternoon.

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READ MORE: Councillor wants Saskatoon city council to revisit organics program

Donauer said he wasn’t bothered his motion didn’t pass, because funding options still need to be presented.s

He also asked that administration report back on a pilot organics program before the city-wide roll-out, but the motion was also defeated.

A motion that administration brings back options for a multi-year phase-in of organics and waste funding was carried. Councillors voted that at least one of the options includes an annual mill rate target of one percent or less.

Donauer said administration is expected to report back on phase-in funding options in March.

“What I heard today, and what council decided today, is we’re going to get some options back on how to pay for it, probably how to phase it in over a few years. That gave me some degree of comfort,” Donauer said.

Donauer said residents could face a tax hike of more than eight per cent, if the funding isn’t phased in.

“This is probably going to be one of the biggest, most contentious issue that this council handles in a four-year term. The fact that it takes us three, or four months, I’m not going to apologize for. These are big complex issues.”

READ MORE: No decision by Saskatoon city council on Pay-As-You-Throw waste utility

Council approved a city-wide curbside organics collection program by a 7-4 vote in October 2018.

In November, it was decided organics would be funded by property taxes.

READ MORE: Saskatoon to charge garbage collection fee, fund organics program with taxes

City administration has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the organics program, seeking a private-sector organics processing firm. The RFP doesn’t specify when the program will start.

According to a city report, black bin solid waste services will remain unchanged until the single-family organics program is in place.

Administration is still working on organics diversion strategies for the multi-family, and industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors.

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