Published April 22, 2024

City acknowledges Earth Day with reminder of changes coming to curbside collection May 1

Barrie curbside collection
Stephanie Mack, Associate Director of Waste Management and Environmental Sustainability, City of Barrie, speaks at a media event on Monday, April 22, with an Emterra Environmental waste collection truck in the background / Captured by Barrie 360

City of Barrie officials acknowledged Earth Day with a reminder of the changes coming to curbside collection May 1.

Stephanie Mack, the city's associate director of waste management and environmental sustainability, formally announced Emterra Environmental as the new waste collector for garbage, organics, leaf and yard waste, and business recycling at a media event at the Barrie Landfill and Environmental Centre on Monday morning.

"We are preparing for growth," said Mack. "We are aligning with provincial changes, changes within the waste sector also. But most importantly, committing to looking after this asset, our landfill, and ensuring that we have capacity here into the future."

Mack says Emterra has been inked to an eight-year contract, plus a two-year extension.

She added that Emterra has a fleet of 16 dedicated trucks for the city, with some extra trucks that will come to supplement the collection.

Mack touched on Earth Day as well, saying it's a day when the waste team looks at sustainability.

"How we can do a better job here to make sure that materials aren't going into the landfill ... making sure that we're reusing and recycling," said Mack.

Barrie residents and business owners are being urged to learn about the significant changes to curbside collection that begin May 1.

City councillors were recently given a refresher at council general committee.


Mack said the city will have a new waste collection schedule which will affect about 10,000 properties.

She implored everyone to check their schedule rather than copy what their neighbours on the street are doing.

Emterra has told Mack that one thing they notice when they start a new contract is not all households have their material at the curbside by 7 a.m.

"We get used to what time our truck usually travels down the road," she said. "If we could just remind everyone across the city, especially for those first two weeks of May, to have their materials out by 7 a.m., so they are not missed."

  • Pet waste accepted in the green bin

Mack said it sounds like a small change but it's going to be impactful at the landfill.

"We know that our curbside garbage is about 18 per cent pet waste," she explained. "This could potentially, if everyone does it the right and puts it in the green bin, we could save 3,600 tonnes at the landfill every year."

  • Yard waste set to the curb on Monday of the collection week, bi-weekly collection

Mack said yard waste is a really challenging material to collect because of the unpredictable nature of what's going to be at the curb.

"In the summer we might get 25 tonnes of leaves compared to the fall, where a contractor would be expected to take 150 tonnes of yard waste off the streets."

Mack said this new model having material out on Monday across the city will allow the contractor to allocate resources to be better prepared for the week ahead and to understand the material out there.

"This is a bi-weekly consistent schedule from April to November with materials out on Monday to be collected by the end of the day Friday."

Mack was asked about concerns expressed from some residents about the impact to the bags being left out for a week, especially if the weather is rainy.

"This is a municipal model that I have seen work," she said, and noted the County of Simcoe has the same collection method for leaf and yard waste. "We're not pioneers at this, but at the same time I do understand the concerns."

Mack said they will be monitoring the collection, including leaf and yard waste, in the spring, and critically in the fall.

"Our collector will pick up bags that are a little bit broken. They've committed to helping us to ensure our streets stay clean. Let's get through the spring and the fall and let's see how it goes."

  • No change in schedule on holidays (except for Christmas/New Year's Day)

A big change will be curbside collection on holidays except for Christmas and New Year's Day.

The first test will be Victoria Day on Monday, May 20, 2024.

"If you're on a Monday collection day, place it out on Victoria Day and there be no shift to the schedule," said Mack. "This will be the same message throughout the summer for all of our holidays."

  • Recycling changes

The blue box program in Ontario is changing as all municipalities will transfer to a new collection model sometime between July 2023 to the end of December 2025. Under the new model, the companies that produce blue box materials will be required to fully fund and operate the recycling system.

The collection of recyclables province-wide will be done by Circular Materials. The non-profit company will be responsible for the collection of blue box materials from homes and residential buildings across Ontario, including the residential portion of mixed commercial and residential properties.

When the switch is made in Barrie on May 1, residents won't see any change in how recyclables are collected.

"They are to put their blue box and grey bin out at the curb on their new collection day," Mack told city councillors. "Again, we are asking they check their schedule."

For residential recycling-related questions leading up to the transition on May 1, 2024, the public can call Circular Materials (1-877-667-2626).

Questions about garbage, organics, yard waste and fall battery collection, residents must call Service Barrie (705-726-4242).

The County of Simcoe made the transition in January, and according to Mack, it was seamless for residents, and she is expecting the same in Barrie.

Changes for Businesses

Monday, April 15, 2024 was the deadline for businesses to register to have curbside service continue on May 1.

Routes will be set after April 15 to include registered businesses.

If a business/institution has not registered with the city by April 15, they can register later, but the application must be completed the 15th day of the month for collection to start at the beginning of the following month

Mack said this intake will continue until the new automated cart collection system begins across the city in September 2025.

City collection will continue Monday to Friday in the downtown Barrie BIA, though business properties in the BIA had until April 15 to register for servicing.

Residential recycling in the BIA by Circular Materials will take place on Tuesday.

Special Collection on May 3, 2024

With route changes, some areas will miss a collection day for garbage and organics.

On May 3, about 7,000 households in Ward 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9 will receive a garbage and organics collection to "bridge the gap." Impacted property owners will receive a letter with information, and they should place those materials at the curb by 7 a.m.

Readiness Checklist for May 1, 2024

  • Check your collection schedule
  • Be sure to place materials curbside by 7 a.m.
  • Special collection for some properties on Friday, May 3, 2024
  • Place pet waste in your green bin
  • Place yard waste curbside by 7 a.m. on your yard waste collection week
  • There are no shifts to the collection schedule due to holidays except Christmas and New Year's Day

For more information about the changes, click here.

- With files from Will Konken (Barrie 360)

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