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Red Deerians who landfill less garbage could be rewarded on their utility bills

Council gives initial approval to new waste rates
(Advocate file photo).

Red Deerians would pay $6 more on their monthly utility bills to get an extra-large black carts for their garbage and $4 less to get a small cart.

The majority on city council considered it fair to charge more to the people adding more burden on the local landfill and to give a lower cost perk to those doing more recycling and composting.

Only Coun. Tanya Handley voted against first reading of the bylaw on Monday because she felt it could pose an unfair penalty on larger families or group homes.

However, Coun. Vesna Higham said she’s part of a family of seven and can’t imagine filling the 360-litre cart over two weeks: “When I saw how huge that large cart is….at no point would I feel I would need that large a cart.”

Higham encouraged city staff to have the three cart sizes on display at city hall for any residents who wanted to check out how much they can hold.

The city will move to a three-cart system of waste collection by May 2019. The green carts will be collected weekly, and the black and blue carts will be collected every two weeks, on an alternating basis.

The city is about to launch a communications campaign to notify householders about the new cart sizes. Residents will soon be asked to state which size carts they prefer to be delivered to their homes next March or April.

If no choice is made, they will receive the default size of 240-litre black or blue carts (the same size as the green carts).

While the size of blue cart selected will make no difference to utility bills, the size of the black cart will. If this bylaw is passed, the proposed rates will be:

- $18.25/ per set of carts, per month, if the black cart is the small 120 litre size.

- $22.25/ per set of carts, per month, if the black cart is the medium 240 litre size.

- $28.25/ per set of carts, per month, if the black cart is the large 360 litre size.

(The above rates include a green cart as well as a choice of blue cart sizes.)

The pricing aligns with keeping the standard size 240-litre black cart at the $1 per month increase — the same amount charged for the 240-litre green carts, said Tim Ainscough, the city’s manager of environmental services.

Coun. Handley asked whether there will be a “grace period,” during which householders can change their minds about their cart size and not have to pay an additional charge to have a smaller or larger cart delivered.

Kelly Kloss, the city’s director of development services, said that’s a difficult question to answer, because if hundreds of people want their carts changed, it will cost the city a lot of money in gas and labour.

“I’d say, give them some time… If after a couple of months it’s not working, contact us.”

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