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Ottawa asks residents for feedback on possible new household trash rules

The city of Ottawa unveiled dual-collection garbage trucks that will be able to collect organic waste and recyclable materials at the same time. The city of Ottawa unveiled dual-collection garbage trucks that will be able to collect organic waste and recyclable materials at the same time.
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OTTAWA -

Ottawa residents are being asked for feedback on the possibility of restricting the amount of garbage you place at the curb each week, as the city's landfill continues to fill up quickly.

The city of Ottawa has launched public consultations on three different curbside garbage collection options to divert more garbage from landfills.

The three options are:

  • Partial pay-as-you throw:  Households would be allowed to place a set number of garbage items out for collection. Households with more than the limit would need to purchase garbage tags for each additional item.
  • Reduced item limits: Households would set out a reduced number of garbage items for collection. Anything above the limit would not be collected.
  • Clear garbage bags with recycling and organics bans: Households would set out their garbage in clear bags. Recyclables and organic waste would not be permitted in the garbage.

The current limit is six bags of garbage per household.

"Ottawa isn't reinventing any wheels here. This is stuff that's done all over Ontario and Canada," said Coun. Scott Moffatt, chair of Ottawa's standing committee on environmental protection, water and waste management.

In an interview on Newstalk 580 CFRA's Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron this week, Moffatt said Ottawa is looking at a variety of options to help increase diversion.

Moffatt says statistics from other municipalities shows what increases waste diversion.

"Oddly enough it's the clear bags combined with an organic ban type of situation, and that seems to have the biggest impact on diversion," said Moffatt.

In July, city staff warned the Trail Road landfill had 30 per cent remaining capacity, and will run out of space in the next 15 years.

"If current landfill practices and annual tonnages continue, Trail Waste Facility expected to reach capacity between 2036 and 2038," said the report. In 2005, the Ministry of Environment approved an expansion of the Trail Road waste facility.

More than half of what Ottawa residents throw in the garbage could be diverted from landfills.

"58 per cent of what we're seeing through a waste audit of what we're seeing in the landfill, could be diverted into one of the existing bins we pick up at the end of your laneway," said Moffatt.

Feedback from the engagement series will be used to help select a new curbside garbage collection option for Ottawa. You can complete the survey at www.ottawa.ca/wasteplan.

The city of Ottawa is engaging on options for the Sold Waste Master Plan, with curbside collection up first.

A new landfill would cost $300 million.

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