Cost Accounting Models Used for Program and Transition Planning

Cost Accounting Models Used for Program and Transition Planning

During this period of policy and program change and the uncertainty that it generates, it’s important for municipalities to consider new tools available for use that provide sound evidence to aid in the decision-making process. The tools currently in development by the CIF and its partners are cost accounting models.

Whether the Blue Box program transition happens sooner or later, an effective cost accounting model may aid your municipality in identifying and allocating the cost of the services you provide more accurately by activity, material type, tonnage, pick up, and a host of other factors. And in general terms, the models may help municipal staff identify many of the common variables that need to be reviewed during the planning and budgeting phase of a project or program change in order to generate estimated costs for activity-based costing comparisons. The models may also help identify separate costs and revenues for materials which currently receive funding from existing stewardship or EPR programs. This will allow for a proper review of any offers presented during/after transition by a steward organization.

The CIF currently has available or is in the process of developing five separate accounting models.  They are:

  1. Depot Costing Model: This model is designed to help estimate costs to expand, construct and operate depots receiving under 500 tonnes/yr. of recyclables. This model is now available through the CIF website.
  2. Landfill Cost Model: This model is designed to help determine the cost allocation of recyclables entering/consuming available landfill capacity. This model is currently undergoing field testing. For more information or to participate in the testing, please contact Bradley Cutler.
  3. Curbside Collection Cost Model: This model is designed to help estimate the full costs of capital, staffing and other resources required to provide curbside collection services. This model is also currently undergoing field testing. For more information or to participate in the testing, please contact Bradley Cutler.
  4. MRF Materials Processing Cost Model: This model is designed to help estimate and allocate the full costs of processing individual materials in a Material Recovery Facility. Field testing for this model is currently underway. The CIF is actively seeking partners to help ground truth the model and will provide funding for participating municipalities. For more information or to participate in the testing, please contact Carrie Nash.
  5. Blue Box Program Cost Model: This model – currently being developed by the City of Toronto (CIF 977), is expected to be available for municipal use by the first week of May 2018 – it will help estimate the full costs of recycling programs including administration allocation. For more information, please contact Dave Yousif.

To conclude, it’s always important to remember that the information generated from the models are intended to provide a general understanding of the activity being examined and is not meant to replace qualified engineering, legal or other analytical advice. If your municipality requires assistance in utilizing these models, funding support may be provided through the 2018 REOI.

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Cost accounting models are used to estimate or identify the full or partial costs of a program or a service. They can be also used to accurately price recycling services.

Complete Form 4 – Application for Centre of Excellence projects if you require assistance in utilizing a model.