Need to Know

Saskatoon, Can., Looking for Ways to Boost Diversion and Extend its Landfill’s Life

The city currently does not offer a citywide yard waste collection program.

Seeking to extend the life of its landfill—and push off the estimated tens of millions in costs to close it and build a new one—the Canadian city of Saskatoon, Sask., is exploring ways to boost diversion, with a particular focus on reducing the amount of organic waste that ends up in the landfill.

The city currently does not offer a citywide yard waste collection program. Currently, it offers a subscription-based organics collection program that about 11 percent of single-family households currently participate in. The city is looking at ways to offer the collection services more widely.

Saskatoon StarPhoenix has more information:

Two possible models are proposed. The first would be a flat rate system in which everyone is charged the same fee; it could be implemented as soon as next year. The other involves a variable rate model based on usage, using either cart size or collection frequency to set the rate. Such a system could be implemented no sooner than 2020. The report allays concerns the city might move to a system based on weight.

Costs to establish a system in which trash is weighed are too high, Wallace said. She also assured residents that any user-fee system would not entail charges on top of property taxes, which currently pay for waste management. The recycling programs introduced for homes earlier this decade are paid for through a flat fee and provincial funding.

The report says if the city moves to a user-fee system, referred to in city documents as a “waste utility,” about $8.9 million would be removed from property taxes. That’s about $68 a year for an average household.

Read the full story here.

TAGS: Residential
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