Regina residents could have a new place to put their used paper towels and grass clippings — and it’s not the trash or recycling.
City administration is recommending a new program: an organic waste service, which would pick up things like food and yard rubbish.
Lisa Legault, the city’s director of solid waste, said the program would help council’s target of diverting 65 per cent of household waste from the landfill.
“Once (organic waste) is removed from the garbage bin, all of a sudden things going into the garbage cart is being reduced substantially,” she said, noting it makes up for around 50 per cent of materials going into the trash.
“Similar to what we do at the landfill with our gas to energy facility, rather than wait for garbage to compost and turn into methane, we can take the (organic waste) material in its raw state and process it so it can be converted into energy,” Legault explained when asked where the compost would end up.
The proposed pilot project, which would take effect in 2020, would see compost picked up weekly with garbage eventually being picked up biweekly. A final implementation plan will be presented to council in spring 2021 with a city-wide implementation starting in 2022.
According to Legault, the annual cost of the organic waste service would be $7.9 million. However, she added, $4.6 million would be saved from garbage collection, cutting the cost to $3.3 million. Homeowners would pay between $36 to $51 extra on their property taxes.
The pilot project would cost the city $3.5 million.
The proposal for the organic waste service will be presented to the city’s public works and infrastructure committee next Thursday.
City administration proposes to keep, expand snow routes
City administration is also looking to keep and expand the snow routes tested out last winter.
Norm Kyle, the city’s director of transportation and roadways, said the pilot project was a success with crews being able to clear streets 20 per cent faster, leaving behind wider, more uniform snow ridges.
Kyle added the city saw residents getting used to the parking bans by the end of the winter.
“When we initially started benchmarking those sections of road, we found after major snowfalls there were well over 120 vehicles parked on that section of road, and by the final snowfall event for the 2017-2018 winter season, we had 11 parked vehicles,” he explained.
During the pilot project, five kilometres of road on Victoria Avenue, Winnipeg Street and College Avenue were deemed snow routes.
Should the city go on to fully implement snow routes, parking bans would also extend to parts of 13th, 14th and 15th Avenues, along with sections of Toronto Street and Broadway Avenue.