September 23, 2017

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Waste pickup schedules to change

Pricier contracts mean city will need to offset cost

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>The new schedule goes into effect Oct. 2.</p>

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

The new schedule goes into effect Oct. 2.

Changes are coming to the weekly garbage and recycling pickup schedule, as could a higher annual fee for homeowners.

A civic spokeswoman confirmed a new pickup schedule for all homeowners will go into effect Oct. 2 — the day after two new firms take over the city-wide home garbage and recycling contracts.

The spokeswoman said details on the changes to the five-day pickup schedule will be provided in an announcement Friday.

The contract with the city’s current garbage and recyclables contractors, Emterra Environmental and Progressive Waste Solutions, expires Sept. 30.

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Changes are coming to the weekly garbage and recycling pickup schedule, as could a higher annual fee for homeowners.

A civic spokeswoman confirmed a new pickup schedule for all homeowners will go into effect Oct. 2 — the day after two new firms take over the city-wide home garbage and recycling contracts.

The spokeswoman said details on the changes to the five-day pickup schedule will be provided in an announcement Friday.

The contract with the city’s current garbage and recyclables contractors, Emterra Environmental and Progressive Waste Solutions, expires Sept. 30.

The work was put up for tender last year and awarded to two new firms on a seven-year, three-month contract: GFL Environmental Inc. and Miller Waste Systems Inc. Contracts run from Oct. 1, 2017, to Jan. 31, 2025.

St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes, chairman of the environment committee, declined to comment until Friday’s announcement.

There could be more changes than just pickup days. The new contracts have a combined annual cost of $24.7 million, substantially more than the $18 million waste pickup had been costing city hall per year.

That increase in pickup cost could also mean an increase in the annual $56 waste diversion fee charged to homeowners.

Mayes has said how much more homeowners will have to pay will be resolved in planning for the 2018 budget. Mayes had previously speculated the annual fee to homeowners could rise to $76 from $56, but explained other factors will affect the final rate — and it could even go higher.

Garbage collection is paid for through property taxes, while the cost of the recyclables and yard waste pickup is covered through the $56 annual waste diversion fee charged to all homeowners.

The city could justify an increase in property taxes in 2018 in order to offset the increased contract cost, or assign part of the increase to a higher amount charged to the annual waste diversion fee.

Winnipeg is currently divided into four zones for collection of waste, recyclables and yard waste; Emterra does the bulk of it with a contract for three zones. Progressive Waste Solutions has the contract for the northwest quadrant.

Under the new contracts, the city will be divided into two areas, creating a more even split between GFL and Miller.

While Emterra submitted a bid on the new contracts, it was not successful.

GFL was the lowest bidder out of four bids submitted for both zones. However, the administration was directed to not give the two contracts to the same company.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Read more by Aldo Santin.

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