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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Committee Recommends Slight Bag Tag Fee Increase in Owen Sound

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

Council will consider raising price by a quarter to $2.75 each at first meeting of 2020.

Garbage bag tag fees could be rising slightly in Owen Sound next year.

The city's operations committee resolved at its Dec. 10 meeting to recommend to council to increase the price per bag tag by a quarter in 2020 to $2.75 each.

City council still needs to approve the recommendation at its first meeting of 2020 -- on Jan. 13 -- when the minutes of the committee meeting come forward.

According to a report by the city's Director of Public Works and Engineering Dennis Kefalas, the price per garbage bag tag has been $2.50 since 2015 in Owen Sound. When the program was first implemented in 2009 the cost was $2 each.

Kefalas' report projects pricing bag tags at $2.75 each next year would result in a deficit of just over $7,000 for the city's garbage management service.

Maintaining the price at $2.50 per tag is expected to result in a shortfall of over $46,000 next year.

That said, the staff recommendation was to recommend to council to maintain the price at $2.50 in 2020.

Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy moved the motion at the Dec. 10 operations committee meeting to instead ask council to pursue the slight price increase next year.

"We looked at some of our neighbours that are at $3 per bag tag and it's been four or five years since the last increase so we thought we'd increase a little bit and try to keep it as close as possible to cost-neutral," Boddy says. "We've always had a really good participation rate with blueboxes in Owen Sound and we want to keep doing that." 

"This is taking some of the burden off of taxpayers that shouldn't pay as much and don't use garbage as much, and transferring it to those that do."

Boddy notes when bag tag fees were first introduced in 10 years ago the goal at the time was to start getting people to be more active in using blueboxes to avert waste from going to the landfill.

"That continues to be the major goal," Boddy says.

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