City proposes new organic waste pilot project
The City of Regina talked trash today, as well as snow routes and finances, as some of the highlights from the committee agenda.
The city is re-visiting waste collection, with the focus this time on organic waste. Currently, only 20 per cent of residential waste is diverted from the landfill, but the city has a target of diverting 65 per cent of household waste from the landfill.
The city says organic waste like food and yard clippings, make up about 50 per cent of residential waste, and it can be used to make nutrient-rich compost and energy.
If approved, the pilot project would cost about $3.5 million. Administration aims to have it implemented in 2020, with organic waste pick up happening once a week.
"We will be collecting recycling, garbage and organic waste. And what we anticipate is that garbage collection will go to a bi-weekly frequency year round, because the volume will go down,” Director of solid waste Lisa Legault.
A final implementation plan would be presented to council in 2021. The program would go city wide in 2022 for homes currently receiving curbside waste services.
Administration expects the program to cost approximately $7.9 million annually, but say it would save about $4.6 million in garbage collection. It would add approximately $36 to the annual property tax to a home valued at $350,000.
The program will also look at different ways to process organic materials into energy.
On the financial front the city is projecting a $2 million operating surplus for the end of 2018.
The mid-year financial report released on Friday, forecasts to be within 0.5 per cent from the budget.
The city says the surplus comes from unexpected revenues when the budget was prepared, but points out that the surplus could still change depending on external factors, like weather, seasonal construction and road maintenance.
Finally, city administration is recommending council adopts a permanent snow route program, and expand it by 11 kilometres for the 2019-20 winter season.
The city says snow route roads were plowed an average of 20 per cent faster this past season.
Administration says residents began to learn as well, saying at the start of last winter; over 120 vehicles were parked on the routes during major snowfalls. The final snow route declaration only saw 11 vehicles parked on the road.
The city says no cars were towed during the snow routes this past winter, only tickets were handed out.
The snow route expansion is a recommendation, and will need council approval before going into effect.
Based on a report by Colton Wiens.