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Committee Approves Investments in Water, Waste and Environmental Health

The City’s Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management today approved its portion of Draft Budget 2022. It includes a $264-million investment in the water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure that delivers essential services to residents, businesses and visitors.

To help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the City would invest $3 million to conserve energy at its facilities. The City would also commit $2 million to conserve natural lands in rural areas and $1.6 million to plant trees and further increase Ottawa’s tree canopy. The Committee also approved a motion directing staff to allocate $1 million in one-time funding, should there be sufficient funds identified through the annual capital close exercise, to help reduce emissions and support ongoing climate adaptation efforts.

These investments would complement the $800,000 in Hydro Ottawa dividends that Council committed in October to Energy Evolution projects. They would also complement funding outlined elsewhere in Draft Budget 2022 to advance the City’s climate change objectives, such as the purchase of 74 zero emission buses, active transportation infrastructure and funds to transition the City to a greener municipal fleet.

Starting on January 1, 2022, households with curbside waste collection would pay an additional $12 per year for this service, bringing the total to $118. That ranks among the lowest fees for curbside waste collection in major Canadian cities. Multi-residential households would pay an additional $6 per year, for a total of $77.50. A portion of both fee increases would help fund capital investments to meet regulatory requirements and the collection contracts awarded in 2019.

The City would invest $1.9 million to support Solid Waste planning projects, including the continued development of the Solid Waste Master Plan, efforts to extend the life of the Trail Road landfill, divert waste from the landfill and to increase how much we reuse and recycle. The draft budget also includes $18 million to initiate the landfill’s Stage 5 development.

Starting April 1, 2022, the average household connected to the City’s water supply would pay an additional $36 per year on their water bill. Rural households not connected would pay an additional $6.25 per year for their stormwater fee, which pays for culverts and stormwater facilities that help prevent flooding and reduce the amount of pollutants entering waterways.

The draft budget commits $11.6 million to restore and replace municipal water facilities, $4.5 million to repair pipes that connect buildings to our sewer systems, $16.2 million to repair sewer pumping stations and $2.9 million to ensure quality drinking water in communal well systems. It also invests $18 million to renew culverts, $14.8 million to design and build a new intake at the Lemieux Island Water Purification Plant to reduce the impacts of frazil ice and $15.2 million to rehabilitate the Robert O. Pickard Environmental Centre wastewater treatment plant. An additional $1-million investment in the Ottawa River Action Plan and Wet Weather Infrastructure Master Plan will protect our waterways.

Council will consider the draft budget on Wednesday, December 8.

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