May 13th, 2021

Residential taxpayers could pay entire bill for the city’s waste plan


By Letter to the Editor on May 1, 2021.

Editor: Lethbridge taxpayers have been invited by the City of Lethbridge to examine and to provide feedback for the current draft Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) available at https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/2022-2031-capitalbudget. Among the myriad of projects presented, one concerns the next (and presumably final) iteration of the city’s waste plan, Curb-side Organic Collection or the “Green Box”.
At Annex E7 of the draft plan, costs for this project is projected at $10.829M-construction of a new compost facility, the purchase of new green carts, and new collection trucks as the old ones are incompatible with Organic collection. Also mentioned, but not costed are five additional staff (likely another $500K-$700K annually). Further, a bag cutter has already been purchased for $608K (unclear as to whose budget paid for this item) and there is talk of constructing a second building at a cost of $5.4M (to house the bag cutter perhaps). So, the real cost could easily be $17M or more.
What is missing is just where this funding will come from, although this program will add $7/month to your residential utility bill. With the implementation of the Recycling Plan in 2019, all funding came from residential taxpayers, through monthly fees and a whole lot of other costs/expenses buried in residential property taxes, despite that residents accounted for only 25 per cent of recyclable waste generated. The remaining 75 er cent is generated by Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) interests and Construction and Demolition (CD) activities, and they still don’t have a plan.
The Organic Waste Collection Plan, will be debated by city council in May and undoubtedly approved.
Like recycling, the lion’s share of organic waste is generated by ICI and CD, yet there is little mention of how/if their waste will be accommodated, and at whose expense. Unless residential tax payers become vigilant, we will be footing the entire cost of this project through user fees and creeping property taxes as happened with recycling. The CIP contains many things to beef up your property taxes. Don’t let this be another.
Lethbridge taxpayers have been invited by the City of Lethbridge to examine and to provide feedback for the current draft Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) available at https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/2022-2031-capitalbudget. Among the myriad of projects presented, one concerns the next (and presumably final) iteration of the city’s waste plan, Curbside Organic Collection or the “Green Box”.
At Annex E7 of the draft plan, costs for this project is projected at $10.829M-construction of a new compost facility, the purchase of new green carts, and new collection trucks as the old ones are incompatible with organic collection.
Also mentioned, but not costed are five additional staff (likely another $500K-$700K annually). Further, a bag cutter has already been purchased for $608K (unclear as to whose budget paid for this item) and there is talk of constructing a second building at a cost of $5.4M (to house the bag cutter perhaps). So the real cost could easily be $17M or more.
What is missing is just where this funding will come from, although this program will add $7 a month to your residential utility bill.
With the implementation of the Recycling Plan in 2019, all funding came from residential taxpayers, through monthly fees and a whole lot of other costs/expenses buried in residential property taxes, despite that residents accounted for only 25 per cent of recyclable waste generated.
The remaining 75 per cent is generated by Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) interests and Construction and Demolition (CD) activities, and they still don’t have a plan.
The Organic Waste Collection Plan will be debated by city council in May and undoubtedly approved. Like recycling, the lion’s share of organic waste is generated by ICI and CD, yet there is little mention of how/if their waste will be accommodated, and at whose expense.
Unless residential taxpayers become vigilant, we will be footing the entire cost of this project through user fees and creeping property taxes as happened with recycling. The CIP contains many things to beef up your property taxes.
Don’t let this be another.
Martin Vogt
Lethbridge

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snowman

great article Martin, but are the residentials the big problem, the local environment group leader classes the residential’s as the dirtiest but are we, does she know the true facts, she should apologize to the residential’s and direct her comments to the real big problem the Industrial, Commercial. Institutional (ICI) for example the total tonnage (reported in City annual report 2019) to landfill is 102,000 tonnes the residential yearly is 22,000 tonnes the ICI dump as Mr. Sanchez General Manager states 70% of waste, garbage to landfill is ICI approx 71000 tonnes of this 18000 tonnes is organic(residential 5500 tonnes organic). So the Waste Management solution dump another Residential Organic curbside program on Residential’s $22million collection rate $8.00 month $3.8million plus $1.4 million debt payments also operating costs of a new facility,the small problem. But wait info was released that for over 8 years the the ICI have been dumping their organics in what is called landfill Organic Cell/ ICI solution $1.5 million a year we pay. Now Waste Management is proposing a $5.4million organic facility for ICI with this the Residentials should be phoning or E-Mail the City Council to remove the Residential Organic project from the upcoming CIP budget.

Citi Zen

Yet again, city hall administrators are pushing their own agendas and beliefs. It really is time for a witch hunt through City Hall, and weed out the arrogant, overpaid, self-serving power mongers, who clearly don’t care about the taxpayers. Their only concern is justifying their jobs.

snowman

Yes Waste Administration is also prepared to dump $1.5million in yearly debt payments on top of the $7.00 a month curbside collection fee of $3.6 million another $7.14 on top of the collection fee.
Just think Red Deer just announced their Organic program will cost residential $1.00 monthly.Good deal.



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