Before I get into what’s going on, the city’s website is advising that now is the time to band your elm trees. Yes, those black, grease-covered bands are really bloody unsightly. But canker worms are much worse. In fact, if there’s one thing about this city that could drive me to move away it’s that two weeks of every summer are spent dodging those little Boschian horrors.

You know, some people are queasy about the idea of using pesticides to combat canker worms. Not me. The only reason I’m reluctant to call in the spray trucks is because the chemical they’re using doesn’t make the little fuckers suffer enough.

So, please, band your trees so that Regina’s urban forest doesn’t have to become a hell on earth for a quarter of the summer.

And on that note….

Tuesday, April 26
CITY COUNCIL (5:30 pm): The big item on the agenda tonight is probably the Waste Plan Implementation Plan. As you’ve probably already heard, things are in a bit of flux with our impending, city-wide recycling system. Tonight, council will be voting to have a recycling system that’s “co-mingled” (that is, you dump all your recylables into one big bin unsorted and the recycling company/the city’s recycling crew pick them up and sorts them on their end) and to direct staff to put together Requests For Proposals to see if there are private companies that can offer some portion or all of our recycling services.

Just figuring out how to structure these RFPs will take the next four months, according to staff. And then it could take until January of next year to pick an appropriate vendor. As a result, this whole extra step in the waste plan implementation could end up imperiling the plan’s target of diverting 40 per cent of our garbage from the landfill by 2015.

On that note, here’s a little sidebar I suggested to go along with my recycling story in last issue that didn’t make the final cut:

Regina is aiming to divert 40 per cent of our municipal waste from the landfill by 2015. But, seeing as city council and staff are still fussing over the details of their recycling plan, that target might be unachievable. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Canada….

Winnipeg: aiming for 60 per cent waste diversion by 2015
Halifax: 60 per cent by 2012
Vancouver: 70 per cent by 2015
Calgary: 80 per cent by 2020
Edmonton: 90 per cent by 2012

Meanwhile, council will also be considering a recommendation to remove the restriction on how much retail can be built on the Southland Mall site. If approved, this would allow the mall’s owners to build three new buildings there totalling 2,985 sq ft of shopping. This is all part of the mall’s efforts to revitalize itself in the wake of Walmart picking up stakes and moving to the greener pastures of Grasslands. Personally, this sounds like a decent enough idea to me. What else is Southland going to do now that there’s a nicer, shinier, hipper shopping option on the edge of the city? (I mean, apart from opening a bingo.)

Council will also be looking at a proposal to sell the lot at 1372 Garnet to Habitat for Humanity so that they can build an affordable housing unit there. Technically, this will be a land swap as H for H was donated 933 Robinson — they’ll be giving up the Robinson lot in exchange for the Garnet one. Council will also look at offering $26,000 in special event funding for Mosaic 2011 and at a plan to build a restaurant at 120N McDonald St. The city’s annual report will also be up for approval as will the annual local improvement program.

And that’s it for this week. For complete reports and agendas, see the city’s website.