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Throwing out your trash will cost you more in Saskatoon next year

After roughly six years of debate, Saskatoon city council has finalized its new curbside garbage utility.

Starting in January, garbage pickup will move from a property tax-funded venture to a utility, with residents having a choice of three different sized bins.

On Wednesday, council voted 7-4 in favour of the new program.

"I have not been in favor of this from the very beginning," Coun. Darren Hill said. "We're going to create a utility — bit of a shell game making the citizens of Saskatoon think they're not going to notice that we just created a new revenue stream of $14 million."

Three different cart sizes will be available on request, including the current large (360 litres), medium (240 L) and a small (120L or 135L) black cart.

For the first six months, the city will charge a fixed rate of $9.92 per month to allow people to swap out their cart for the one they need.

Beginning in June, the smallest cart will cost the average resident $28.98 per year, with the medium cart costing an additional $49.34 and $70.97 more for the large cart.

After the initial cart exchange, a $30 fee will apply to each home exchanging to a different cart size.

"Our landfill has a lot of life in it, that's not a concern," Hill said, minutes after opposing the decision.

"There's only one taxpayer. I think we're going to see struggling families having to decide between groceries and garbage with this new utility."

Council began considering a revamp of its curbside garbage program in 2018 as the city tried to honour its goal of diverting 70 per cent of waste away from the landfill by 2023. As of May 2023, the city diverted 30 per cent of its waste after the launch of the city-wide curbside organics program.

To offset the increased costs, the city is working on a program to provide a $100 per year subsidy for low-income residents.

"We need to find a balance of what the right solution is for our community, and I think we've done our best in figuring that out," Coun. Hilary Gough said.

The 2024 operating curbside garbage program has budgeted expenditures of $8.4 million.

The city estimates 25 per cent of residents will choose a smaller cart when they're made available. Top Stories

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