Regina city council voted unanimously in favour of a biweekly winter garbage collection schedule Monday night.
However, before hands were lifted in support, questions were raised, asking about home businesses.
Ward 5 Councilor John Findura asked city administration whether daycares and other home-based operations could get special privileges at the landfill. The administration responded by boomeranging it back to council, saying it would have to be discussed amongst them first. It was also suggested that home businesses use private waste pickup for their additional trash.
Ward 10 Councilor Jerry Flegel also asked if people could put their extra garbage in their neighbour’s bin; the city administration confirmed it’s not allowed. However, the city will look to provide larger families, who create more waste, with larger brown bins.
Mayor Michael Fougere said he’s aware that it will be an adjustment for people and added that the city is there to help educate about waste management.
“The idea is work on the front-end, before we start the process, explain what we’re doing and see if we can help them with their diversion rates as well — because maybe what they’re throwing away is recycling material,” said Fougere.
While it’s only a test run this year, Fougere added that, should the schedule flow well with the community, the city will plan to implement it every winter.
‘We’ve asked for a report to come back to see what the implications are and what the impact is on the community. If we need to adjust or change, we’ll do it sometime in 2018,” Fougere explained.
The new biweekly garbage pickup plan, which will affect about 64,000 households, is expected to save the city approximately $132,000. This cost-saving measure was prompted after the grants-in-lieu program was cut in the last provincial budget.
It will take effect starting in November and run until March 2018.
At Monday night’s meeting, city council also unanimously voted in favour of changing zoning laws to allow the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan to build a mosque in an industrial area.
After trying and failing since 2012 to get approval from the Rural Municipality of Sherwood to secure a spot on Tower Road, the city allowed the religious group to move into 525 12th Avenue. The Association hopes to move into the building in May, which would be the start of Ramadan. In two to three years, President Faisal Khan said they hope to bulldoze it and rebuild.
The YMCA of Regina was also approved for $60,000 in funding towards its Plan to End Homeless in Regina.
In another unanimous vote: a park in the city’s Westerra neighbourhood was named “Sereda Park” after Regina artist and arts advocate Michelle Sereda, who died in a car crash on Highway 6 north of Regina in 2015.