Saanich will waive a $149.60 garbage collection fee for a Baker Street resident because her annual recycling efforts have eliminated the need for a garbage truck to stop at her house.
Council agreed to the move somewhat tentatively out of fear of “opening the floodgates” for more residents asking to opt out of garbage collection, Coun. Vicki Sanders said.
The Baker Street home is now one of two Saanich households that don’t pay the collection fee. And though councillors said they encourage more residents to minimize their waste, the collection fee pays for more than just garbage pickup.
“The current charges also contributes to offset the costs of other municipal environmental programs including leaf collection, composting and bus shelter litter pickup,” wrote director of finance Paul Murray in his report to council.
Coun. Nichola Wade suggested the municipality look at separating fees to ensure Saanich gets the money it needs to pay for those other environmental programs, but also provides incentives to residents who reduce their waste output.