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RFD- 3394 Business Items   Item #   10. a.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 10/22/2018  
Title:    Waste Management Program Proposed Changes - Levasseur
Department: Planning & Infrastructure  
Strategic Vision Element: Where People Choose to Live - A dynamic city with an exceptional quality of life Related Goal: Citizens consistently express high levels of satisfaction with municipal services.

Information
Request for Decision Summary
The purpose of this report is to provide Council with five solid waste service level options for consideration. Council's approved service levels will be implemented in spring 2019, which will align with the tendering of the new waste collection contract. Administration is seeking Council’s decision on the proposed waste management service level changes presented at the June 18, 2018, Committee of the Whole Meeting.

Proposed Motion
That the City maintain weekly curbside garbage collection in spring 2019 with the tendering of the new waste contract.
 
That the City maintain monthly winter curbside organics collection in spring 2019 with the tendering of the new waste contract.
 
That the City discontinue the annual collection of Christmas trees as part of the curbside waste collection program after the January 2019 event.
 
 That the City maintain the annual free-cycle event.
 
 That the City discontinue the annual large item curbside collection event.
 
 
Background/Analysis
Over the past decade the City of Spruce Grove’s diversion rates have remained between 35% and 40%. In 2016 the City contracted S-Cubed Environmental to conduct a curbside waste audit and provide recommendations on how to increase waste diversion. One of the top recommendations from the report is the proposed change from weekly to bi-weekly garbage collection. The City has also conducted several outreach survey events over the past two years where the main reason (46% of residents) for not diverting waste to the organics cart has been convenience. Residents stating that it is more convenient to put  their food scraps in the garbage compared to properly diverting to the green organics cart. Organics currently makes up 56% of the waste stream.

Addressing this stagnation in diversion became a priority and City Administration originally proposed the five service level changes below to address these concerns for spring 2019.

The proposed service level changes were:
1. Curbside collection service to bi-weekly garbage collection 
2. Curbside collection service to bi-weekly winter organics collection
3. Discontinuation of Christmas tree collection program
4. Maintain the free-cycle event 
5. Discontinue the large item pickup program

Administration has attached a report that provides a detailed analysis of each of the proposed service level changes, including impacts, consultation and communication considerations.

The recommendations are reflected in five separate proposed motions so Council may consider the merit of each recommendation individually.
Options/Alternatives
Administration feels that the proposed changes presented are the best options for the City. However, the following alternatives could be considered:

1. Curbside collection service to maintain weekly garbage collection
The City through the tendering process can request the option to switch to bi-weekly collection at any point during the new contract period. To support this option, the City will request costing for weekly and bi-weekly service in the upcoming tender package. This can be brought to Council for consideration at a later date.

2. Discontinue the large-item pickup program
The City can continue with large item pickup at the curb, however the service would be under a separate contract and the costs would be billed to all residents during the month of the large item pickup. This cost will be visible on the utility bill in the month in which the collection occurs.
Consultation/Engagement
The attached report was prepared in partnership between the Environment and Transit and Public Works Departments. External input was gathered from the Capital Region Waste Minimization Advisory Committee and the Inter-municipal Community Collaboration Waste Sub-Committee.

City Administration also conducted the following engagement events regarding the proposed changes:
  • Intercept Surveys: City Administration with the assistance of S-Cubed Environmental conducted five days of intercept surveys between September 27 - October 2, 2018 at Save On Foods, Superstore and the Heritage Park Anniversary Event. Feedback was gather from 227 residents (see attached for full survey results)
  • Open House: City Administration hosted a five hour open house on September 26th at the Spruce Grove Public Library.  Feedback was gathered from approximately 39 residents that attended the event and completed 26 surveys (see attached for full survey results)
  • Online Engagement Portal: City Administration through the use of an online portal was able to gather feedback and input from 394 residents in the form of an online survey and information sharing (see attached for full survey results)
Results from the three engagement events showed the following:
 
1. That the City move to bi-weekly curbside garbage collection in spring 2019 with the tendering of the new waste contract.:
  • 43% of respondents were very supportive or somewhat supportive
  • 56% of respondents were not very supportive or not at all supportive
  • And 1% was not sure.
2. That the City move to bi-weekly winter curbside organics collection in spring 2019 with the tendering of the new waste contract: 
  • 55% of respondents indicated no impact
  • 6% indicated a negative or somewhat negative impact
  • 37% indicated a positive or somewhat positive impact
  • And 2% did not know.
3. That the City discontinue the annual collection of Christmas trees as part of the curbside waste collection program after the 2019 event:
  • 83% of respondents indicated no impact
  • 10% indicated some to a big impact
  • 6% indicated not much to may or may not have an impact  
  • And 1% not sure.
4. That the City maintain the annual Free-cycle event:
  • 63% indicated they were very supportive of the program
  • 13% were somewhat supportive
  • 15% were neutral
  • 6% were not very or not at all supportive
5. That the City discontinue the annual large item curbside collection event.
  • 55% of respondents indicated some impact to a big impact
  • 25% of respondents indicated no impact
  • 20% of respondents indicated not much impact to may or may not have an impact

The City also surveyed residents during Canada Day and a door-to-door education campaign on moving to bi-weekly garbage collection,.  The results from these events showed:

Canada Day:
City Administration spoke with several residents (32) at the annual Canada Day event at Jubilee Park. Residents were asked the following question regarding the waste changes:
1. How full is your garbage cart every week? 56% of residents stated their cart is half full or less.
2. If garbage was collected every other week, could your household manage? 69% of residents stated they could manage having their cart collected every two weeks.

Door-to-Door Organics Campaign:
City summer student spoke with 261 households on organics diversion, during those conversations she noted that:
  • 66% of households were for bi-weekly collection
  • 24% against bi-weekly collection
  • and 10% were not sure

The City also received 14 inquiries through the phone lines and email - the main concerns highlighted were smell, family size, and not participating in recycling or organics.  Two residents did support the changes, but would like to see a fee reduction.
Implementation/Communication
The proposed service level changes will be incorporated into the Request for Proposal for waste hauling service as well as the waste contract with the successful proponent.

Communication of these changes to residents will occur in consultation with the Corporate Communications team. A detailed strategy will be prepared to educate residents and assist them with these changes.
Impacts
There are several impacts associated with each of the proposed motions:

1.  Maintaining weekly collection of the black waste cart:
  - Does not encourage diversion of waste from landfill, as a result the City's diversion rate will likely remain at 35% - 40%, well below the regional average
  - Does not help to decrease the City's Greenhouse Gas emissions, a goal set out in the City's Energy Management Plan and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy
  - Does not align with Goal 5 of the City's Environmental Sustainability Action Plan
  - Does not align with the service collection schedules with the Tri-Municipal region and greater Edmonton region, a goal of the Inter-Municipal Collaboration Committee on waste
  - Does not help to reduce the number of trucks required to operate the system, thereby potentially decreasing wear and tear on City streets  
  - May result in an increase in program costs and subsequent utility fees
  - Additional resources and funding may be required to educate residents on proper diversion in order to try to increase diversion rates
  - May encourage participation in the recycling program changes
  - May reduce the need for enforcement of overfilled black waste carts

2. Maintain monthly winter organics:
  - This program will remain the same and no impact should be experienced

3. Removing curbside collection of Christmas trees:
  - Minimal impact should be experienced as 83% of people surveyed indicated there would be no impact to discontinuing the program
  - The Eco-Centre will be required to process additional Christmas trees in their composting program
  - City-generated green house gas emissions will be reduced

4. Maintain free-cycle event:
  - This program will remain the same and no impact should be experienced

5. Discontinue large item pickup:
  - Resident dissatisfaction related to the service reduction
   - Illegal dumping may increase
  - Fewer unsightly properties as residents will likely dispose of items 
  - The Eco-Centre will need to process additional large items throughout the year
  - More traffic at the Eco-Centre provides for more educational opportunities for residents
  - Increased opportunity for small businesses
  - City-generated greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced
Attachments
COW RFD June 18, 2018
Council RFD July 16, 2018
City of Spruce Grove's Waste Management Program Proposed Changes
FAQs for Bi-weekly Collection
Regional Comparison on Large Item Collection
Open House Survey Results
Intercept Survey Results
Online Survey Results
Online Survey Questions

City Council and Committee of the Whole agendas and minutes are posted on the City of Spruce Grove website for information purposes only. These agendas may be changed at the discretion of Council by the addition or deletion of items. Anyone reviewing the draft agenda should do so on the understanding that it is subject to change by Council.

All attachments are in PDF format, and require the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in for viewing.

Audio from the most recent City Council and Committee of the Whole meetings are available via podcast on the City of Spruce Grove website.



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