There was a difference of opinion on council as to what to do about a $141,000 surplus realized from the city’s curbside garbage and recycling program.
The anticipated surplus is attributed to the city having had to pay less for tipping fees than what was originally estimated. Coun. Ivan Idzan said this was hopefully due to more waste being recycled, than going into the landfill. He recommended that some of the money be used for more public education on the program. Coun. Chad Eliason agreed, arguing that an increase in recycling could achieve even greater savings.
Coun. Alan Harrison, however, didn’t think news of a $141,000 surplus from a fee for service would sit well with the public. He suggested that, at budget time, council consider a 10 per cent cost reduction.
Coun. Ken Jamieson agreed with Idzan that another year’s data is needed before council considers a reduction. “I think right now, consolidating the program and making sure we’re doing a good job with what we have, and then seeing a return to residents would be one of several things that could be done to make the program even better,” said Jamieson.
The program’s cost is expected to increase in 2013 to reflect fuel cost and consumer index pricing. Council agreed to hold the surplus in reserve, leaving the matter for the upcoming budget talks.