11/22/2016 15:42 EST | Updated 11/23/2017 00:12 EST

Calgary to cut 29 landfill jobs, reduce drop-off hours, end Christmas tree pickup

Calgary has approved its 2017 budget and with it comes some layoffs at the city's three landfills.

A total of 29 jobs are being eliminated because fewer people are using the dump, the city says, resulting in a significant drop in collected materials and the corresponding revenue from tipping fees.

Some of the people in those jobs, however, will be redeployed to other areas.

"Out of that 29, we've actually had 18 layoffs," said Rick Valdarchi with the city's waste and recycling services.

"Total staff implications are actually 21 because, within our administration group, three positions have also been lost," Valdarchi said.

"We've been able to accommodate a number through some existing vacancies that we've had, and also through needs in the other parts of the operation. But there have been job losses."

Operating hours at each landfill will also be cut to four days a week.

In addition, the city is dropping its annual Christmas tree pick-up program. It will instead set up drop-off depots, just like it does for collecting leaves and pumpkins in the fall.

Valdarchi said the city was left with little choice but to cut spending and jobs, given the economic downturn.

The layoffs are to take effect in early January.

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