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The City of Winkler is hoping to give residents a clearer look at where their taxes are headed by separating service costs on the bill.

Council made the decision at their latest meeting to put the $110 waste pick-up fee on its own line in the tax bill. Winkler Mayor Martin Harder explains now that they've eliminated commercial waste pick-up, they're able to give residents a clearer picture of where their tax dollars are headed.

Winkler discontinued garbage collection for commercial businesses January 1, essentially privatizing commercial waste collection and disposal.

The Meridian Exhibition Centre will also be given its own line with an amount based on assessed value. "So every taxpayer will see exactly what that facility is going to cost them."

Harder notes the separated bills are not additional taxes.

"It's being open and honest," he says. "There's nothing hidden."

However, local resident Neil Reimer asked council to explain why the pick-up rate is identical, regardless of a household's actual waste produced.

Councillor Andrew Froese explained the challenge becomes tracking which households use less than the maximum amount of two garbage bags. While the city's contract with Penner Waste allows for the option to reduce the pick-up limit to one bag per household, Froese notes the cost savings of some houses putting out one instead of two are relatively minimal.

Harder says the city may still consider going down to one garbage bag per week, per household, but notes additional bag tags can be purchased at the civic centre. Tags come in sheets of five for $10.

Related Article:

Commercial Waste Pickup Goes Private In Winkler

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