Council decides this week whether a new garbage bag label sales program for anyone looking to dispose of more than three garbage bags will start on January 1, but the price of each label has been called into question as soon as departure.
As The Auroran reported last week, the council is considering a plan to put in place a bag tag program by early 2022. If ratified this week, residents can expect pay $ 5 per tag for each garbage bag they put on the sidewalk above and beyond the current three-bag limit.
Aurora currently has the highest per capita waste rate among the six municipalities in Northern York Region, but since the city launched its three-bag max education campaign last year, the total tonnage has increased. a steady decline.
The implementation of a bag labeling program is seen as the next step towards reducing the level of waste.
During their first scan of the proposed bag tag program, however, Councilor Michael Thompson wondered if the price of $ 5 – the highest among the six northern municipalities that have similar programs – was more for the City to recover costs or if it is designed for a deterrent.
“Most municipalities cost $ 2-3 for their bag tags,” Councilor Thompson said. “If we’re able to break it down into a price per bag, we need to have a total for the administrative cost of this program and how many labels we feel we can get out.”
Al Downey, Aurora’s COO, responded that full costs cannot be given at this time because the data is simply not there.
“We had to come up with a number,” Mr. Downey said. “When we proposed the three bag limit policy, we did not add a bag tag system. We believe Aurora currently has a generous bin bag system. We have the most garbage bags in York Region. We have the highest amount of garbage per capita of any municipality on the N6. This is an area where we don’t want to be number one, but we are.
“We try to discourage people as much as possible from throwing out additional garbage. If we find that there is a huge setback [to the tag costs] or the Council wants us to review, we approve a fee regulation every year and we can consider reducing it. I will also have better numbers for you as we have never administered a baggage tag system. We don’t even know how we’re going to sell them.
While Councilor Thompson said he didn’t want the city to lose money, he wanted it to be done “at a reasonable rate.”
Councilor Harold Kim seconded the $ 5 price.
“There has to be a balance between service and deterrence,” he said. “I suspect, as Mr. Downey said, that there won’t be a huge buy-in on this. I think it’s only a small fraction of the municipality that will eventually need extra baggage, but it’s good to have that option.
The timing of the program was more of a concern for Councilor Kim. While staff recommendations call for a start date of January 1, he said he wants this to be sped up until November.
That suggestion didn’t take off, with councilor Rachel Gilliland saying she liked the idea of the New Year as a “new beginning”.
“It will be easy for residents to identify the start of something new,” she said. “Something implemented on December 1, it’s a very busy time with a lot of holidays and different religions, people running around and who knows where this pandemic will be. It could be additional stress.
Avoiding undue stress for residents was a theme of Councilor Gilliland’s concerns, which included asking staff for assurances that there would be breaks in the program for people who have additional litter on their sidewalks if they move. , or if they have a secondary apartment on their property.
“It’s happening now, even without a tag system, and a lot of times people call and say, ‘We have an amazing circumstance and we’re going to throw more garbage than usual,’ so we’re making arrangements for that. Said Mr. Downey. “One of the benefits of starting January 1 is that we can start with our public campaign by identifying some of the nuances that go with it.”
Councilor Gilliland replied, “Based on our history, many people are already adhering to the three bags. It just solidifies it even more to encourage people to be a little more aware and aware and to recycle more; just be a little more aware that this is our way of moving forward and being a little more environmentally conscious as well.
“This education program, I think, will really help residents on what they can do to help solve this problem.”