By Letter to the Editor on January 2, 2020.
There have been many questions from residents on the $7 increase to their waste collection charge. So does the charge specifically refer to Residential Curbside Recycle Collection user fee? No. So the question was asked, why it does not properly state Residential Curbside Recycle Collection?
The management response: the bylaw states waste collection charge. So the question was asked, is recyclables considered waste (garbage)? Answer: the bylaw states Schedule A states increase rates to waste collection. Recyclables are not waste; they have a value.
It was interesting, when watching the city council Community Issues Committee meeting Oct. 17, the City Manager Corporate Progress report presented by the Director of Infrastructure, on slide #5 on curbside billing, he stated a “$7 enhancement.” So what is a $7 enhancement? Is it a tax or is it a user fee?
Our committee forwarded a letter to mayor and council requesting an explanation of the “$7 enhancement;” what is it, what is the public purpose? Answer: “to cover the implementation of the Curbside Recycling Project.” Is it a tax? Answer: “no, it is a utility fee for the curbside recycling program.” Is it a user fee? Answer: “yes, as per bylaw amend 6198 schedule A.”
When was the bylaw approved by council for a $7 enhancement? Answer: “the bylaw was approved by City Council Nov. 26, 2018,” which is incorrect; it was approved Dec. 10, 2018.
In both bylaw 6146 and 6198, council erred. They did not ask for a “cost of service” on accounting the “$7 enhancement” fee. They did not ask the specific account for the Residential Curbside Recycling collection user fee monies – will they be deposited in a waste collection account or, if deposited in general revenue, they become a tax. One councillor questioned the free Saturday removed from bylaws; there were no questions of removal of residential dividend item.
The 37,500 residential customers should be very concerned with what is happening with their collection fees taken by Waste Management. In any case, we will proceed with this issue.
Spokesperson for Committee for Residential Utilities