Orillia’s clear garbage bag program begins in February 2022

Mayor says program will help reduce what ends up in Orillia's landfill

News release – from the City of Orillia

Starting on Feb. 7, 2022, the City of Orillia is moving to a clear garbage bag program.  

Residents are to place garbage in a clear plastic bag instead of a black or green plastic bag. Residents can place up to two small privacy bags, such as regular sized shopping bags to hide private items in their clear bag. 

“With the cooperation of residents and businesses, implementation of the new clear garbage bag program will help divert recyclable and compostable materials from the garbage and reduce what ends up at Orillia’s Waste Diversion Site,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “Other municipalities that have adopted a clear garbage bag program have seen impressive results of up to an 11 per cent increase in diversion rates. We want Orillia residents to be prepared for the change coming in February. Together, we can help prolong the life of our landfill and do our part to protect the environment.” 

Once the program begins, opaque garbage bags will no longer be collected. Collection drivers will also leave behind bags that contain a large amount (over 10 per cent) of recycling and compostable material that should go in the recycling or green bins. Soiled recycling that is required to be placed in the garbage (i.e. pet waste in newspaper wrapping) will still be accepted. Residents that do not want to use a bag can still place their garbage directly in a rigid container.  If residents are lining their rigid container, it must be with a clear bag. Clear garbage bags will still require a City of Orillia garbage tag to be collected. 

“In Orillia, almost 36 per cent of what goes in the garbage at the curb could go in the recycling or the green bin. The clear garbage bag program encourages residents to sort recycling and compostable materials appropriately,” said Greg Preston, Manager of Environmental Services. “City staff have been in contact with local retailers to ensure they are aware of the new program and to stock large and small clear bags for the programs launch in February.” 

The program is anticipated to also assist with the removal of hazardous items from the waste stream as items such as batteries, paint, oil and gasoline cannot be hidden in clear garbage bags. The program also offers increased worker safety by enabling the garbage collectors to see the contents of the bags and avoid hazardous items, such as sharps and needles. 

For more information on the program, please visit orillia.ca/clearbag or call 705-325-3522. For detailed information related to the City’s solid waste collection program, including material sorting information, view the Solid Waste Collection Guide.