The City Needs Your Help Reducing Waste!

Do you care about our City? Do you have an opinion about waste, recycling, and compost?

The City is looking for your feedback: Between August 9 and September 12, they will be engaging with our community on three potential curb-side garbage collection options to help keep organics and recyclables out of the landfill. 

Some context on the current situation:

Right now in Ottawa, the average household puts out slightly more than four garbage items (bags, bins or bulky items) every two weeks. That’s up to 60 kg (132 lbs) of waste every two weeks! Annually, that adds up to the weight of an SUV for every household. 

The Provincial government has mandated a 70% requirement for household food organic waste by 2023. Currently 25% of reusable materials are placed in the garbage in Ottawa.

Diverting waste from the landfill is necessary to support our City Council’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the community by 100% by 2050, based on 2012 levels. Emissions from Canadian landfills account for one-fifth of all methane emissions in Canada, a powerful greenhouse gas. 

Beyond its environmental impact, this would help extend the life of the Trail Road landfill which would save taxpayers money by deferring the need to site a new landfill, alternative waste management facility or technology.

What you need to know:

  1. The City has a mandate, from the government of Ontario to collect residential waste.
  2. Over the years many tactics have been used to encourage recycling, reduce waste and increase use of the green bin
  3. The masterplan is the long-term vision for how waste is managed in the City of Ottawa.

To have your say, visit and complete our survey. You can also participate in one of our online workshops.

Options are being considered:

Waste reduction is key, but we need to figure out how.

According to City staff, one step in reducing waste is to come up with new collection regulations. 

The City’s current engagement requires your input on three potential waste collection options that it has come up with: 

  1. Partial Pay-As-You Throw: Households would be allowed to place a set number of garbage items out for collection. Households with more than this limit would purchase garbage tags for each additional item, as needed. Recycling, organics, and leaf and yard waste would still be picked up without any tags and with no limits. (More than 78 municipalities across Ontario currently use this option: Kingston, Niagara Region, Russell, etc.)
  2. Reduced firm item limits: Households would set out a reduced number of garbage items for collection. Anything above the limit would not be collected. (Many municipalities across Ontario have a garbage limit: Halton Region, Hamilton, Guelph and London, etc.)
  3. Clear garbage bags with recycling and organics bans:  Households would set out their garbage in clear bags. Recyclables and organic waste would not be permitted in the garbage. (More than 40 municipalities across Ontario use clear bags: Markham and Dufferin County, etc.) 

Your engagement on each option is important as it helps the City understand your perspective on accessibility, affordability, potential barriers, potential benefits and challenges for each proposed option.

The online survey is availableuntil September 12 and is accessible on the following website:

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