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Saskatoon curbside recycling for apartments and condos

City council approved new plan for Cosmo Industries to service 36,000 units
Reported by Fan-Yee Suen
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The blueprint for a mandatory city-wide recycling program for Saskatoon's 36,000 apartments, townhouses and condos has been laid out.

City council on Monday approved nine motions that will outline what a contract with Cosmopolitan Industries might look like.

The motions, which include a memorandum of understanding that Cosmo will be the service provider or providers for the collection of recyclables from multi-unit dwellings (MUDs), affirms the positive relationship the city has built with the not-for-profit company, council heard.

"A society is measured by how it treats their weakest members," said Coun. Darren Hill, about the motions. "And fortunately, we do have Cosmo to help us with that effort in Saskatoon."

Although the details of the mandatory program, which can be expected to roll out by 2014, still need to be discussed with Cosmo, the issue of cost was one many councillors wanted more details on.

"It's still premature for us to be guessing at the cost," said environmental services manager Brenda Wallace. But similar to the mandatory recycling program for single family homes, each apartment or condo will be required to pay for the service whether they use it nor not.

Coun. Randy Donauer, who put forward eight of the motions, asked that the administration report back on how Saskatoon would move forward if all MUDs that currently have an agreement in place with a private contractor were to switch to a city program within two years.

There could be a "problem" if the recycling program costs more than the ones currently being offered by existing private sector contractors, said Coun. Tiffany Paulsen.

The Ward 9 councillor's concerns were echoed by Coun. Mairin Loewen who said she spoke with a condo manager earlier in the day about the complexities involved with sorting and handling recyclables in a building with many occupants. For some MUDs, it's taken a long time to create a working relationship, so "I think it's important we take time and be thoughtful and careful about we structure this program," Loewen said.

Unlike the recycling program for single-family homes, a MUD recycling program will not be a co-mingled system. Paper and cardboard will be separated from other recyclables and glass will not be collected.

Cosmo will negotiate with the city on whether they will select a collector or choose to hire its employees to handle the pick-up.

fsuen@rawlco.com

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