Regina’s executive committee Wednesday voted unanimously to charge garbage, recycling, and a new yard waste collection program for utility bills instead of property taxes.
The Commission selected all three property tax services, two combinations of property tax and utility charges, and moving all three services to a user-pay model.
The city council will hold a final vote on the proposal at its meeting next week.
“All of these options cost more,” said Ward 8 Coun. Shannon Zakidoniak “There is no option to reduce the cost of a new waste diversion. If we do not do this properly, we will pay for it again later in a new landfill.”
Recycling fees are now on your utility bill, and regular trash collection is subject to property taxes.
Garden garbage collection will be a new service next fall.
As part of the proposal, residents will be able to choose between their current 360-liter garbage trucks or smaller 240-liter garbage trucks for a reduced fee.
“Personally, if approved today, I think my house would save money on a 240-liter garbage truck,” said Ward 10 Coun. Landon Mall.
If the household chooses the smaller 240 liter garbage cart, the annual fee will be $193.45 per year. This includes costs associated with collecting and disposing of 240 liters of food and garden waste carts and 360 liters of recycling carts.
Choosing a large trash cart will cost you $284.70 per year.
Options selected by the Executive Committee also include a rate discount component for seniors and low-income households.
Regina now has a brown cart and a blue cart. Green carts for food and garden waste will also be installed next fall.
Converting all three roadside waste disposal services to user fees would save approximately $8.9 million from the property tax base (or 3.16% of the factory tax rate).
Regina’s waste diversion rate has remained steady at around 20% since 2015.
The city’s goal is to increase the waste diversion rate to 65% and extend the life of city landfills.
New landfills are estimated to cost between $50 million and $100 million.
If approved by the Council, the new fee structure will go into effect on January 1, 2024.
Many other cities across the country have moved to a user-paid model.
Beginning in 2024, Saskatoon households will be able to choose from three sizes of garbage carts: the 360-liter cart currently in use, or alternative 240-liter and 180-liter options available at discounted rates.
Garbage, food, yard waste, and recycling services are all billed as utilities.