Saskatoon City Council is set to get more guidance on a new organic waste pickup program.

In a meeting Monday afternoon, council voted in favour of ordering a report that would provide the best options for how the program would be funded and rolled out.

Coun. Randy Donauer put forward a motion to delay the program. Donauer cited issues about a nearly five per cent property tax in 2020 to fund the program and suggested putting brakes on any decisions.

“What I’m hearing from my residents is that they’re concerned about the price tag,” the Ward 5 councillor said.

In a 6-5 vote, the majority of councillors voted against postponing the organics pickup program.

Donauer said he didn’t see the vote as a defeat, since the to-be released report would give clarity about his finance concerns.

“What council decided today is that 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,” he said.

The report, which will be forwarded to the Saskatoon Environmental Advisory Committee, is due to be released in March.

In ordering a new report, council passed six motions, which covers several councillors’ concerns including:

  • options for a multiyear phase-in of organics, and reallocation of funds to best match program start dates
  • at least one option with an annual mill rate target of one per cent or less
  • consider allowing current composters to opt out and prohibiting organics from the landfill and black bins
  • the expansion of the current voluntary organics program with a prohibition of yard waste in the black bins.
  • how the phased-in approach could affect council’s goal of 70 per cent landfill diversion by 2023