Published May 14, 2024

Could be consequences for County of Simcoe residents who don't take part in organics program

County of Simcoe residents, which does not include the cities of Barrie and Orillia, who don't participate in the organics program could get more than gentle nudge to get on board.

In a report to County Council committee of the whole on Tuesday, staff are proposing that garbage carts will only be collected if an organics cart is at the curbside.

According to staff, recent audits indicate that 46 per cent of what is placed in the garbage cart should have been placed in the organics cart, and on a weekly basis, approximately one-quarter of residents are not participating in the program.

The County's curbside organics program has been in place since 2008, the report stated, and while it has been successful in diverting over 200,000 tonnes of organics from the landfill, there is still room for improvement.

Staff is recommending a soft start date of the proposal on November 1, 2024, with full-implementation the following month.

Should a resident need an organics cart, staff recommends reducing the delivery fee to $25 from the current $50 for a period of three months around implementation.

"Organics will continue to be collected weekly and garbage will continue to be collected every other week," the report states. "Therefore, those residents that feel they do not produce enough organics in one week can choose to put it out for collection every other week beside their garbage cart."

Residents who wish to be exempt from the organics program won't get an automatic nod. The report states that if council wishes staff to implement an exemption process then there should be a procedure for that.

"Should a resident have their own system and/or feel they do not produce any organics, staff will accept applications from residents requesting to be exempt from this program. Before approving an exemption, staff would audit the location's garbage to determine if there are any organic materials present," according to the report. "If there are none, then staff would make their garbage cart as eligible to be collected without an organics cart present."

Those residents would be required use clear bags going forward so staff could periodically complete a visual audit of their material to ensure they don't have organics in their garbage.

"Should they be found to have organics in their garbage cart, the exemption would be removed and the resident would be required to use their organics cart," the staff report indicated.

The proposed measures are expected to recover an additional 3,000 tonnes of organics a year.

Banner image: County of Simcoe

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