Payment for the city’s new green bin program has shifted once again. The audit, budget and finance committee voted to move the cost of the program back to the general tax bill on Friday.
This replaces a user fee proposed by the planning and environment committee on Nov. 10, which would have exempted businesses, apartments and rural residents from paying for green bin collection because they would not be receiving the service.
“What we’re doing is saying that we are going to do what we intended to do in the first place, which is have it [the cost of the green bin program] as part of the true waste costs,” said Barrhaven Ward Coun. Jan Harder.
Many of the city’s services are not received equally by residents even though everyone pays for them, said Harder. Urban, suburban and rural areas all receive different levels of attention, she said.
“The bottom line is when we are one city we have to be working together,” she said.
Some councillors told the committee they wanted the original payment method reinstated because of the critical response they received by email from their constituents.
“I do not support the user fee because we have heard loud and clear, through lots of emails, that there are a number of people concerned about how [the green bin program] is going to be financed,” said Osgoode Ward Coun. Doug Thompson.
Rideau-Goulbourn Coun. Glenn Brooks also said his residents told him the costs of the program should be supported by property tax.
The newly proposed payment method – through residents' annual tax bill – will enter public consultation in early January, and will be voted on by council late January.