Pay-as-you-go trash pickup proposal dumped back to city administration

Pay-as-you-go trash pickup proposal dumped back to city administration

A city proposal to change Calgary's black cart system for garbage pickup is going back to city administration for more work. 

The proposal put forward to council committee Wednesday would give Calgarians a choice of three different-sized carts for their trash.

Under Calgary's current system, all households pay the same for a 240-litre cart, whether one person lives there, or eight.

Ward 1 Coun. Ward Sutherland told the Calgary EyeopenerWednesday morning the "pay-as-you-go" program would create two new sizes of black carts — a smaller 120-litre cart, and a much larger 360-litre cart.

"This is long overdue. Many other cities do it … Toronto, Vancouver, Penticton. Basically, we've had a lot of residents say, and they're right, it's all about choice," Sutherland said.

"There will be three different prices for the three different bins and you simply get to choose."

Sutherland said the cost difference between the cart sizes won't be much — between $2 to $3 between a large and regular cart, "but over once a month for several years, it does add up."

The city would also introduce a "tag-a-bag" program where stickers for additional trash bags on collection day could be purchased from local grocery stores.

However, the plan won't be moving forward any time soon as the council committee said it wants to see more financial details before approving the plan.

Sutherland said Wednesday afternoon it doesn't mean the idea is dead — just more information is needed.

"The reason why this even came up was there's families that have two people in a house and other ones that have six or eight, also now with secondary suites, maybe you need a larger cart," he said.

"But it was suggested we come down with the final numbers, which I'm totally good for."

2020 roll-out

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he is still not sold on the idea of variable cart sizes.

"When I think about the incentive that we're giving people if we're selling them a large cart to not sort their trash, it seems to me that's a greater incentive than the financial incentive of 'oh if I have less, I might go to a smaller cart,'" Nenshi said.

If the plan does get council approval, the program would not roll out until 2020.

Council will discuss later this month what happens next with the proposal.

- MORE CALGARY NEWS | Big reno to land at Calgary airport's domestic terminal

- MORE CALGARY NEWS | Alberta flower farmer offers sanctuary for orphaned plants 'to be happy'