Mandatory recycling for apartment, condo buildings in Regina proposed.
One of Regina’s largest residential rental companies isn’t opposed to a recycling program at its properties.
But a spokesperson for Boardwalk Rental Communities said if city’s mandatory recycling program becomes law, the costs of providing the service would be passed on to renters.
It will be the residents that will pay for it because that’s how all businesses work,” said the director of community development with Boardwalk.
Today, the city’s public works committee will discuss a recommendation from administration that would mandate multi-family properties, such as apartment and condominium buildings, to provide an on-site recycling service by Jan. 1.
Rather than a city managed and operated program, property owners would be required to contract the services from a private company to collect and sort recyclable material. The property owner would also be required to provide an on-site recycling storage facility.
Boardwalk, which has 2,500 rental units in Regina, is dealing with similar recycling proposals in Calgary and Saskatoon.
A concern is where to put the on-site storage facility. For properties not yet constructed, additional space can be planned and allocated. But for existing properties, finding a place for the storage facility is a challenge, he said.
All of our buildings were built many years ago before anyone really thought much about recycling. And, so we don’t have space allocated for that. Are we going to be asked to give up a parking space and is that something the city wants? Cars parked on the street? said boardwalk.
In any rental community that I’ve seen, there isn’t an extra storage space that nobody’s ever thought of using before lying around. That’s not the way it works ... We can’t just make space out of nowhere.
On July 1, the city launched its mandatory residential blue bin-recycling program to 62,000 customers. Residents are charged $91.25 on their utility bills. The program was expected to divert 40 per cent of household waste from the city’s landfill. If implemented, the multi-family unit proposal would divert an additional five to seven per cent, according to the city.
The other recycling option is the 13 large and six small bins scattered across the city. The Big Blue Bin program, which provides recycling for cardboard, paper and boxboard, was launched in 1991 and costs the city $650,000 a year.
Lisa Legault, acting director of the department of open space and environmental services, said the city is monitoring the declining amount of recyclables going into the large and small bins. If the amount continues to decline with the new multi-family recycling program, the bins could eventually be discontinued.
She added the recommendation is consistent with private garbage collection at multi-family properties. Recycling would be, very easily, an add-on to an existing service,” Legault said. “The private sector is out there and they’re fully equipped.”
If the city managed and operated the service, it would cost $3 million for collection trucks and bins. As such, the charge to residents would likely be more if the city was directly involved as opposed to the private sector.
With respect to the concern over the lack of space for recycling storage, Legault suggested a property with multiple garbage bins could replace one with a recycling bin.
It’s not that people are tossing out more. It’s that they’re making a decision to say ‘this is recyclable, so I’m going to put it in this bin and the waste is going to go into that bin,’” she explained.
The public works committee meets at 4 p.m. today at City Hall.