On Wednesday September 26th, Halton region's Planning and Public Works Committee will be considering approving recommendations within Report No. PW-52-12 One of the recommendations is to decrease the once every other week garbage bag limit from six bags to three bags per single family residential dwelling and introduce a Bags Tags program for the collection of garbage bags over the limit. The goal of the Three Garbage Limit and Bags Tags program is to increase household diversion and encourage households to participate in Halton Region's Blue Box and GreenCart programs.
On November 16, 2011 the regional councillors approved the Solid Waste Management Strategy which contained 6 waste diversion initiatives to be developed and implemented over the next 4 years. The Garbage Bag Limit and Bag Tags program is one of the key components within the Solid Waste Management Strategy to meet Halton Region's goal of 65% diversion and increase the lifespan of the landfill by 4 years. Halton region's overall and specifically Halton residential diversion rate is currently below the target 65%, being 57.6% and 59% respectively.
Studies conducted by the region show 85% of all single family households place 3 garbage bags or less at the curb once every other week (the overall average is 2.5). Recent studies have also shown the Blue Box participation rate is 95%, but the GreenCart participation rate has declined from 70% to 60%. Studies also show the average household garbage contains 29% GreenCart material and 12% acceptable Blue Box material. As I mentioned the overall strategy of the Three Garbage Limit and Bags Tags program is to increase household diversion and encourage households to participate in Halton Region's Blue Box and GreenCart programs. It is estimated the 3 Garbage Bag Limit and Bags Tags program will increase waste diversion by 3% and extend the lifespan of the landfill by 4 additional years.
Starting April 1, 2013 if households want to place more than 3 garbage bags at the curb, they will be required to purchase a Bag Tag for each additional bag. During the first phase of the program Halton region will make complimentary Bag Tags available as part of the roll-out, promotion and education phase. This phase-in period will last 5 months to ensure residents have the necessary GreenCarts, Blue Boxes and information to adjust to the new program. Starting September 9, 2013 households will be required to purchase a Bag Tag for each garbage bag that exceeds the 3 bag limit at a cost of $2 per tag. Bag tags will be available at community centres, the Milton library, the Waste management site on highway 25, and the Halton Regional Centre in addition to potential retail locations, as well as online.
It is extremely important to me that as part of this move to a 3 bag limit with bag tags, that the region will provide an exemption and complimentary bag tags to households that have a large volume of garbage as a result of young children in diapers (3 years of age or younger) or a medical condition. Families will also be allowed to place 6 garbage bags (no bag tags required for the amount over 3) for pick-up for two weeks immediately following Christmas as this time tends to generate additional waste.
It is estimated implementing this new program will increase diversion from the landfill by 4.5%, as well the life of the landfill will be extended to reach capacity between the years 2042 and 2046 at the current rate of fill. The net full annualized cost of the 3 garbage limit program which includes tag revenue and the printing and distribution of the bag tags will be $602,400. The cost to implement the program on April 1, 2013 will be $261,000 and will be included in the 2013 Regional Budget and Business Plan for consideration. If the regional Planning and Public Works Committee approves the 3 bag limit program on September 26, 2012, it will go before full regional council on October 3, 2012 for approval.
In addition to this program the committee will also consider a recommendation from Report No. PW-70-12 to add mixed plastics empty steel paint cans and spiral bound cardboard cans to the Region's Blue Box program starting April 1, 2013. Studies have shown the average household garbage contains 16% of plastic material such as thermoform plastics from baked goods, small yogurt and pudding cups, empty steel paint cans, baby formula containers and other plastic containers.
The region will make available for pick-up the new 22 gallon Blue Boxes in March 2013 and August 2013, as well as GreenCarts free of charge at this time. It is estimated by including these materials in the new Blue Box program it will significantly reduce residual material that goes to the landfill by 1.5%. The full net annualized cost of the enhanced Blue Box program will be $342,900 which will be incorporated in the 2013 Budget for consideration. These reports are available at http://sirepub.halton.ca/pubmtgframe.as ... ype=AGENDA
Local & Regional Councillor
Wards 1,6,7 and 8http://www.tony-lambert.ca
Cell: 647 220 9728