The City of Toronto has unveiled a plan to reduce the amount of garbage going to landfills by charging households different fees depending on how much trash they put out at the curb.

A number of different-sized bins will be offered to residents and pickup costs will vary.

"We've created a system where, depending on the size of garbage can you put out, you pay more money if you put out more garbage, so if you're a super recycler, you'll pay nothing," said Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker.

"I know my family personally, we will have the smallest container. We won't pay a penny more."

The plan, drafted by council's executive committee, suggests the city remove $209 each year from homeowners' tax bills, but residents then have to purchase a garbage bin that fits their trash output and pay an annual fee.

The city is planning on the following garbage can sizes and costs:

  • A 75-litre bin will cost $209 a year;
  • A 120-litre bin will cost $250;
  • A 240-litre bin will cost $310; and
  • A 360-litre bin will cost $360.

The move will cost the average household about $62 more each year, CTV's Desmond Brown reported.

A pilot project will begin immediately in 2,500 homes. The city hopes to have the project up and running by next summer.

Some councillors, however, criticize the initiative.

"The residential homeowners are targeted when we've seen that the residential homeowners have stepped up to the plate with respect to (garbage) diversion," said Councillor Karen Stintz.

"It seems to me that as a first step, we should focus all our energies on multi-residential and condominium units to get their diversion targets up."

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong said the plan doesn't make much sense.

"The public is going to be taxed a massive amount of money and we're only going to increase recycling for single-family homes by a measly 3.5 per cent," he said.

Mayor David Miller last month said the strategy is based on successful models in Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco.

Councillors are expected to approve the plan at an upcoming council meeting.

Toronto is aiming to divert 70 per cent of its trash from landfills by 2010.

With a report from CTV's Desmond Brown