Informing and engaging area residents


Green Bin program expands but is it the answer?

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]On July 2nd, The City of Ottawa began to allow the disposal of plastic bags of organic waste through the Green Bin Program in a bid to increase use by residents.  While that doesn’t take care of the maggots that regularly infest the bins you are now able to add “doggy do” and kitty litter to the mix too. Will this compel you to use it more? Time will tell. 

According to the City of Ottawa website:

Plastic bags can be used as a bagging option for household organics in the green bin. Pet waste is also accepted – including dog waste and kitty litter.

We have now made the green bin cleaner and more convenient to use. Using the green bin takes advantage of weekly pickup, while garbage is collected bi-weekly.

No need to purchase plastic or compostable bags. You can reuse common ones around your home: bread bags, milk bags, grocery and retail bags

The City Hopes that expanding the program and taking the “yuk” factor (soggy paper bags) out of using your Green Bin will encourage you to use it more. Let’s hope they are correct as we need to be better stewards of the environment and our tax dollars.  Yet, even more needs to be done.

An Ottawa Citizen article published on June 14th, the City stated that the curbside garbage diversion rate is about 50%. The City forecasts an increase to 63% over three years, thanks to this change. 

The cost for this upgrade, an additional $626,000 per year. 

The City’s record on waste management is abysmal. Readers will recall the City Council signed a deal with Orgaworld which committed the City to a put-or-pay regime for organics. The City never met the organics waste diversion rate agreed to in the contract leading to millions of tax dollars in payment to Orgaworld, and millions more challenging the agreement in court, which was eventually settled. Residents now pay $88.00 per year for bi-weekly garbage collection and roughly $30.00 on their tax bill for the recycling program, fees that are likely to keep increasing. 

Councillor Moffatt believes that 10,000 tons of organics can be diverted from the Trail Road Landfill located off of Moodie Drive with the changes to the Green Bin Program; however, the City estimates that 188,000 tons of garbage is dumped in the landfill each year. Diversion is a responsible step, but it will never be enough to eliminate the waste that is dumped each and every year in Rideau-Goulbourn. It is a short term solution to a nasty problem.

Focusing on a strategy that is cost-effective, generates revenue, shows leadership and get’s rid of ALL TYPES OF GARBAGE, ALL AT ONCE is a dream worthy of pursuit by Canada’s Capital City. 

Over the next two years, the City will spend $1.3 million to research a new solid waste master plan.  Let’s hope our Council looks beyond green bins and landfills and looks to proven solutions that exist elsewhere… how about an efficient modern clean burning INCINERATOR?  Garbage gone, otherwise wasted energy resource tapped and revenue generated. That could be an exciting green initiative!  

What do you think? Are you aware of solutions that work well in other jurisdictions? If so please share them here.

For more information about the City of Ottawa Green Bin program visit the website here.