Monday, May 16, 2011

Recycle this

I would guess that the weekend editorial in the SP urging Council to make a decision on recycling will encourage councillors to vote no to a referendum on the issue. However, I don't think the editorial board is large enough to carry them all back onto council come the next election.

I sincerely hope that the monthly fee for recycling will come as a separate charge on the utility bill. Otherwise we will never know what the real cost of this program will be. If the cost gets buried in the black hole of the general budget the cost of recycling will be far more substantial for some and landlords will jack rents well beyond what the cost will be. Besides if everybody pays, perhaps everybody will play.

I'm going to guess it will be a mixed collection given the cost. A couple of people from Regina have already asked how our city can provide this program at a much lesser cost than Regina. Its the magic of our council - or like everything else we will hear, after the decision has been made, that it can't be done at that cost.

I hope the bins provided will be covered otherwise the businesses getting the contracts will be picking up a soggy mess. And I'm not sure where I will put another bin - I'm running out of yard space given the garbage container, the garden waste container, the compost bin, my cans/bottles for Sarcan and my Cosmo collection bin. I will return my own cans etc. to Sarcan. I take them in every few of months a get about $50.00 back. I used to use this as treat money - now it will have to pay for my recycling bill. And I will continue to donate my papers to Cosmo assuming they are allowed to still collect.

I live on a bus route and every now and then a grader comes down the road and piles a bank of snow in front. On garbage day when the bins are rolled out its like running an obstacle course trying to avoid the parked cars, garbage bins and oncoming traffic. It does keep one sharp and alert when behind the wheel.

I further expect that those getting the contracts will not be allowed to send anything collected to our landfill.

And and for those who liken the cost of the program to a latte or beer once a month, that maybe true for for the middle class and upwards. On the downward side, it may mean milk or bread for others.

Out of curiosity, is puking considered recycling?


  1. Has anyone asked what the cost of garbage pick up is? Further, the plan, as I have heard it, is that there will eventually be a charge based on actual garbage weight. Will people be happier paying for garbage like a utility and having this cost offset by recycling as much as possible for one fee? Just curious to know what people think (after all I know that garbage pickup is certainly not free).

  2. Garbage collection in Saskatoon is $5.80 per month. About $1.60 higher than it would cost for recycling. That also glosses over the fact that the garbage collection cost is simply for pick up (not landfill fees) while the recycling cost is for pick up and sorting and disposal.

    So for three times the work they can do it cheaper than anywhere else. Yup sounds like Council knows what they are doing once again.

  3. WAIT WAIT WAIT. Please don't get sucked into the advertised cost. It is clearly stated that the $4.25 is the estimate to be used when going out for the RFP. If anyone chose to look at the fine print when the city goes out for an RFP request if any of the bidders meets the targeted cost the City is bound to give them the contract no matter what. They can not negotiate other aspects that are left to the carrier. So by putting such a low cost they have insured they will be able to pick and choose what they expect. However this also means in reality it will cost us a citizens more. GO and talk to your Councillor and see if they will
    guarantee the price won't be higher once the program goes into place.

    And to anon's 9:41 claim of S5.80 per household for collection I would love to see that itemized document including all components of running it like a business. If the intent was to go to a weight system for garbage and change it to a utility I would have liked Council to have implemented it this year and reduce my taxes accordingly prior to double dipping for picking an empty bin.

  4. "And I will continue to donate my papers to Cosmo assuming they are allowed to still collect."

    Donating your garbage to the needy. How magnanimous of you, Elaine.

  5. "Donating your garbage to the needy."

    Referring to recyclable paper as garbage. How ignorant of you Anon 10:54.

    This is the outdated and ignorant, hick viewpoint we are trying to eliminate. Too many rednecks like Anon 10:54 in Sask for a program like this to succeed right now.

  6. Hold up there little buddy, I am a redneck hick and several other nicknames you can probably think of, but I bet I recycle more than most of you snotty nosed greeny punks and have for longer than I care to remember. Let's back off the name calling unless we are going to publish our names, including me! This is a very enjoyable blog for discussing issues let's keep it civil,

  7. Perhaps then quit with the potshots aimed at the Mistress, especially if you won't be attaching your name.

  8. For 35 years the adults with intellectual disabilites at Cosmo have sorted and upgraded paper donated by the citizens of Saskatoon, like the Mistress. 300,000 metric tons of paper fibre has been recycled and diverted from the landfill. That's a savings to City taxpayers in landfill costs of $27,000,000 (today's costs as to not get into calculations of present value or inflation).

    The City of Saskatoon has also been on the receiving end of $1,800,000 from the proceeds of recycling this paper fibre. That's a pretty darn good partnership between the City and Cosmo.

    Clean paper is a resource and provides economic, environmental and social benefits. Contaminated paper is indeed garbage and that's why it's not sound methodology to combine glass (environmentally benign with little economic upside) with paper which comprises 85% of all recyclable material which would be picked up by a mandatory curbside collection system.

    We are always being told that we are the last large city without mandatory curbside. The goal can't be to be like everyone else. The goal needs to be to learn from others mistakes while keeping the existing social benefits to adults with intellectual disabilities.

    These benefits can continue through a modernized depot system or through a well designed mandatory curbside system.

    Whatever system is put into place, there are no savings on the garbage side. No large city has seen a decrease in costs associated with garbage. I can think of a lot of benefits of recycling but a lower cost of waste management to taxpayers isn't one of them.

  9. Everyone else has a recycling program, so should Saskatoon..... what a complete bunch of BS.

    What we have is a lazy ass city council that is more concerned with giving the appearance that they are doing something than actually doing something.

    It is really sad, because someone on Council should have stood up and took the initiative to not only research about available programs but looking at ways to improve on them, for example by maintaining the relationship with Cosmo industries.

    Instead we have a bunch of spend hardy councillors who get more credit for talking about recycling than if they actually did something.

    This comedy of errors that has resulted in the RFP is a perfect example of how little they know. They have no idea what they want, what it will cost, what will be covered. As the Grizz said, they are fishing looking for a good deal.

    Just like asking what the final cost will be, try asking what the program will look like and how it will operate. They are all clueless.

    We will end up with an expensive inefficient system where some company milks the city while providing the minimal amount of effort required. The environment will lose, taxpayers will lose, the city will lose but all the Councillors can brag about being green.

  10. Anon 2:40
    I am the hick redneck and have never taken a pot shot at the Mistress, I for one enjoy that she takes the time to host this forum and I respect her even when I disagree with her. I am not Anon 12:12 who I think took an uncalled for shot at the Mistress I am Anon 2:21 who was trying to lighten things up a bit obviously didn't work so well!

  11. I donate my paper to Cosmo because I support the organization and its goals, that being to provide a venue for people with intellectual disabilities to gather for a purpose. I do not consider paper garbage. It is a reuseable product.

    I also donate clothing and household goods that I no longer have a need for to Comunity Living and Diabetes because they will ensure people in need receive the goods at a low cost and any minimal profit will aide those organizations. I do not consider these items as garbage either. They too are reuseable products.

    As for the recycling program proposed, it will come in substantially higher than is stated. It will be mixed collection and much of the paper collected will not be useable because it will be contaminated as a result of the mix. And the paper that the city will provide to Cosmo will be purchased by the city and then given to Cosmo. That sum will be on our tax bill. At some time in future some wizard on council will want to cut this expenditure and Cosmo will be in jeopardy.

    I am not opposed to recycling. I already do it. I am opposed to big brother taking away my right to do it, and then charging me to have a contractor do it while at the same time negatively impacting on an organization that I support.

  12. Talk about recycled arguments, Elaine.

    Your stance is based on the same outdated principles as those who opposed public sewage for London 150 years ago.

    Isn't it about time you brought your views forward a couple of hundred years?

  13. I don't see how the views here and those of London with sewage even compare, outside of the taxes involved.

    I don't mind a recycling plan. I just don't want a substandard, inefficient and expensive system rushed in for the simple reason of saying we have one. What is clear so far is the incompetence of present council has absolutely no idea on what kind of system they want or how much any system will cost. What's sadder is that no councillor has stepped forward and taken some ownership, I think in particular younger more progressive councillors like Clark or Loewen (I recognize she is still new). It's clear that still today no one on council or in administration has a clue on the subject, just look at the latest RFP.

    I guarantee that if council came to the table with a solid plan (with or without Cosmo, preferably with IMO) at a reasonable cost that the solid majority of households would support it. The more they fumble around with the issue the more questionable it becomes. I just can't fathom giving this current spend hardy bunch a blank cheque to implement a system that they have no idea how it will operate or how effective it will be. Someone on council needs to step up on this issue, it's sad it hasn't happened yet.

  14. I'm no fan of recycling for the sake of recycling. I need to have a clear economic reason for us to do it. The environment's all well and good, but really, a full-borne recycling program won't prevent a new landfill facility being built. And it's not like recycling will make this city any cleaner -- very few cities in this world are as clean as ours, incidentally.

    But if someone could make the case that my $5/month (as if!) will be better used to throw in a recycling program instead of, say, filling in potholes or having adequate snow removal or ensuring our community infrastructure is up to date, I would go for it.

    I haven't seen that case, however. It's discouraging, to say the least.


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