Starting Oct. 19, which is Waste Reduction Week in Canada, curbside garbage will be collected every-other-week from all properties outside a designated business area. The Blue Box, Grey Box and Green Bin will continue to be collected every week to increase waste diversion. Additional changes include a weekly four item limit for large household item collection (for eligible properties) and the discontinuation of curbside scrap metal collection. Container limits for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional and Mixed-Use properties will also be adjusted.
These service level changes coincide with the new waste collection contract awarded to two new collection companies – Green for Life and Miller Waste. The aim of these changes is to keep recyclable/organic material out of Niagara’s landfills, avoid unnecessary costs, and reduce Niagara’s collective impact on our climate.
“I know we can all do our part to keep even more waste out of the landfill,” said Regional Chair Jim Bradley. “Other regions in Ontario that have switched to every-other-week garbage collection have seen the organics collection and use of Green Bins increase, and in one region there was an increase of 120 per cent. Waterloo, Peel, Ottawa, Halton and even Toronto have already switched to every-other-week collection. In fact, 70 per cent of municipalities similar to, or larger than, Niagara have switched.”
As a former Minister of the Environment, Chair Bradley introduced the Blue Box recycling program across Ontario in the 1980s. “I’m proud to see how far we have come in waste diversion, but we all know how far we can still go to reduce, reuse and recycle,” he said. A presentation at today’s Public Works Committee meeting outlined the public information campaign and various supports being put in place to inform residents and businesses about the changes and make the transition as smooth as possible.
The fact-based campaign was unveiled under the new brand “Box it. Bin it. Sort it.” and discussed the ways the public will learn about the changes. Included are:
- Direct-mail postcards sent to every household in Niagara
- Social media and digital advertising campaign
- Informational videos and animations
- Public service announcements
- Presentation materials for local schools
- Brochures and other print materials
- New Collection Guide to every household in Niagara
- Webinar presentations to business and community groups
- Direct letters to businesses
- Print advertisements
- Collection vehicle advertisements
The campaign seeks to inform the public about the upcoming changes, emphasizing they are worth the effort, and that we all need to do our share. “We are committed to providing residents and businesses with the information they need to help with this transition and to understand why the changes are being made,” said Catherine Habermebl, Director of Niagara Region Waste Management Services.
“These changes will save landfill space for waste that can’t be recycled or composted, avoid costs, save natural resources and reduce our impact on climate change,” said Habermebl. Citing an often-misunderstood example, Habermebl went on to say, “For example, a lot of people think that organic waste decomposes in a landfill and becomes soil. It doesn’t. It breaks down and becomes methane gas, which is 20 times worse for the environment than carbon dioxide. Using your Green Bin keeps organic waste out of the landfill – it really is worth the effort.”