Fixing the Green Bin

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Green Bin

City to finally allow plastic bags in the green bin

Cumberland Councillor Stephen Blais is pleased that the City is finally addressing the inherent problems with the Green Bin Program. The Green Bin Program could expand under a revised contract with Orgaworld Canada Ltd.

Blais voted against the move the bi-weekly garbage collection in 2011 because of the problems with the green bin contract and the reduction in core city services.

“I voted against biweekly garbage collection because the City was making it more difficult for families to dispose of their household waste,” says Blais. “By allowing plastic bags, families will simply put their organic waste in a garbage bag, tie it up and put it at the corner ever week just like before.”

The Environment and Climate Protection Committee will consider a recommendation that starting in mid-2019, plastic bags and dog waste could be included in green bins for weekly pick up, eliminating the need for special liner bags and reducing odour and pest concerns. The revised contract would also end current arbitrations with Orgaworld, avoiding costly litigation.

“The contract signed by the 2006-2010 city council was an absolute mess that contributed to a tarnished relationship between the City and Orgaworld,” adds Blais. “We’re finally going to stop paying lawyers and focus on providing this important core service to residents.”

The remaining 12 years of the contract would provide better value to the City, thanks to proposed amendments:

  • Reducing the processing rate for plastics and dog waste from $151 to $124 per tonne
  • Lowering the minimum tonnage of organics that the City must provide to Orgaworld from 80,000 to 75,000 tonnes per year, saving $2.7 million in unnecessary costs until 2022
  • Increasing flexibility during peak seasons of leaf and yard waste by converting the daily limit of 540 tonnes to a weekly limit of 2,700 tonnes

The revised contract would divert more waste, helping to extend the life of the Trail Road landfill and meet new provincial diversion targets.

“More convenient garbage collection will also provide better value for taxpayers and is a significant step in the right direction,” adds Blais. “By making it easier and more affordable, we can encourage more residents to divert waste from the landfill protecting our environment for generations to come.

The Environment committee will consider the recommendations on March 26 followed by consideration by City Council on March 28.