Significant reduction in curbside trash since launch of Orillia’s clear bag program

Officials say there has been a nearly 40% reduction in curbside garbage

News release – from City of Orillia

After one year of the City of Orillia’s new garbage bag program, the results are clear; curbside garbage has been reduced by almost 40 per cent and there is a significant increase in diversion rates.

“Council is committed to working with the community for a greener, more sustainable Orillia and I would like to thank residents and businesses for their efforts to make the clear garbage bag program a great success. After one year, Orillians are putting out almost 40 per cent less garbage at the curb and composting and recycling efforts have significantly increased,” said Mayor Don McIsaac.

The program took effect on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, and requires garbage to be set out in a clear plastic bag instead of a black or green plastic bag. The program aims to encourage residents to sort recycling and compostable materials appropriately, assists with the removal of hazardous items from the waste stream, and provides increased worker safety by enabling the garbage collectors to see the contents of the bags and avoid hazardous items.

After reviewing the collection data from the first year of the program (Feb. 7, 2022 to Feb. 6, 2023), the weight of garbage collected at the curb decreased by 38 per cent compared to the period of Feb. 7, 2021 to Feb. 6, 2022. Additionally, the organics (compost) collected increased by 16 per cent and recycling rates increased by five per cent.

“Orillia’s landfill space is limited and finding new disposal capacity will be very expensive for Orillia taxpayers. Programs like the clear garbage bag program and Council’s recent approval of a transition to a pay-as-you-throw garbage tag system in 2024 are essential to meet Orillia’s waste diversion objectives in the Council-endorsed Waste Minimization Plan and Climate Change Action Plan,” said Greg Preston, Manager of Environmental Services.

The pay-as-you-throw tag program scheduled to begin in 2024 will see a property tax savings of approximately $31 per household. Residents will only pay for what they generate; those that set out less garbage will pay less. Watch for more information at orillia.ca or on the City’s social media channels.

For more information on the clear garbage bag program, 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 and set-out requirements, view the Waste Collection Guide or visit orillia.ca/recyclingtips.

Banner image supplied -City of Orillia

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