By Tristan Marks
There will be some changes to waste collection throughout Niagara come Monday, Oct. 19.
Residents, take note: garbage collection will now come every other week instead of weekly, among other changes. Blue/grey bins and green bins will continue to be collected every week.
Every other week garbage collection begins Oct. 19 for West Lincoln and Oct. 26 for Grimsby and Lincoln. Garbage collection will otherwise occur on the same day of the week that residents are already used to for their street.
Niagara Region waste management director Catherine Habernebl said this change is aimed at diverting biological waste away from landfills and into green bins.
“The real driver is to improve and increase sustainable behaviour,” she said. “Unless we implement policy change it will be difficult for residents to change.”
She explained that the region has found through waste audits that only 48 per cent of Niagara residents are using a green bin and only 14 per cent of Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) properties within designated business areas use theirs. What’s worse, she said that almost 65 per cent of materials “found in a typical garbage bag” belong in a blue/grey box or green bin.
Furthermore, while residents can still arrange for large household item waste pick up, there will now be a limit of up to four items.
Habernebl said that the adjustment will be worth it for residents. Firstly, it will help the Region move its waste diversion rate from 57 per cent towards its 2020 goal of 65 per cent. Secondly this plays a role in “cost avoidance”, avoiding “about 1 million dollars” in waste collection alone, she said.
Habernebl was quick to point out that this does not mean tax would go down, only that it would help reduce any increases.
“We’ve seen residents embrace change before,” she said. “Now we’re asking them to embrace the green bin.”
Residents may apply for an exemption to have collection every week for diaper or medical waste. Applications for exemption can be found by visiting niagararegion.ca/waste.
Furthermore, IC&I properties in specific “designated business areas” within Downtown Grimsby, Beamsville, Jordan, Vineland and Smithville will continue to receive weekly collection services. For a list of these areas and their boundaries, visit niagararegion.ca/waste/collection/inside-dba.