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City eyeing waste fees

Residents in Ottawa with green bins, blue boxes and black boxes couldbe paying a bit more to have their recycling taken away next year.

Residents in Ottawa with green bins, blue boxes and black boxes could be paying a bit more to have their recycling taken away next year.

To cover the expense of operating the city’s new organics recycling program, the planning and environment committee is calling for a $68-per-year fee for households with green bins in its 2010 draft budget estimate.

That budget would also shift the cost of operating blue and black box recycling from the general tax base to a $41-per-year user fee service.

“It was deemed inappropriate to allocate the cost of the new green bin program to the general property tax base,” said committee chair Peter Hume.

Around 7,800 rural residents, who do not participate in the green bin program, would not be charged for the service.

The new fees would appear on the property tax bill next to the $86 garbage collection.

Kanata South Coun. Peggy Feltmate, committee vice-chair, acknowledged the fee shift may be one of the biggest issues of the budget. “Some won’t like it,” she said.

By making this funding shift, the committee would reduce its operating property tax requirement by $11 million. But around $5 million from those savings would be offset by $1.2 million in reimbursed development fees, a $1.9-million Emerald Ash Borer management plan and a $1-million investment in sewers.

Based on a property tax bill for a home assessed at $278,000, the impact would be an extra $57 for residents paying for garbage, green bins, and blue and black boxes.

Fee increases aside, the overall impact of this draft budget would reduce the property tax increase by 0.6 per cent, said Hume.

The draft estimate still needs to be approved by the committee, the audit budget and finance committee, and city council.

 
 
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