A proposal to introduce a ‘pay-as-you-throw’ scheme for black carts could be sent back to the drawing board after city councillors expressed concerns about the program’s costs and the potential for contamination with blue and green carts.

Council’s utilities committee did not approve the plan that would have scrapped the flat-rate fee for black cart pickup in favour of variable pricing.

Instead, councillors voted unanimously to send administration back to develop a detailed financial model for the program before returning to council early next year. The referral must still be approved by a full vote of council.

“I’m surprised at the negatives that seem to be showing up on this,” Coun. Peter Demong said ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

“As much as it would seem to be the right way to go to avoid excessive garbage to the landfill, (and) to actually allow choice to the consumer, from what the reports indicate, it’s almost the reverse: we have a higher (risk) of contamination and that concerns me greatly considering we already have contamination issues.

The proposal would give Calgarians a choice in black cart sizes: 120-litre, the current 240-litre, and a larger 360-litre cart. Calgarians would would also have the option of a “tag-a-bag” program for waste that doesn’t fit into the black bin.

Administration said that the purchase of additional black cart sizes would cost the city about $10 million, if fewer than 50 per cent of residents choose a different cart size. Program costs, including inventory management and cart maintenance, are expected to increase with the addition of new cart sizes.

City bureaucrats had hoped the program could have beenn rolled out in 2020.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi, making a rare appearance at a council committee, introduced a motion that sent the proposal back to city administration for further work.

“I don’t want to throw the baby out with the black bin here because I think there’s an opportunity here,” Nenshi said.

More to come…

…read more

Source:: Calgaryherald.com


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Committee taps the brakes on ‘pay as you throw’ proposal

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