By now all Orillia households and businesses have experienced at least one garbage collection cycle since the ‘clear bagging’ bylaw was introduced February 7, 2020, and the word from the City is that the transition has gone very well. In a recent press release, Mayor Steve Clarke expressed his appreciation to all Orillia residents for their efforts to make the transition to ‘clear bags’ a success. Most readers of this newsletter are not only supporters of sustainable changes such as this, but your leadership also helps neighbours and friends to get on board as well. Bravo!
As reported by the City, during the first week, up to 95% of residents participated in the new program and the weight of household garbage collected curbside was down 47% compared to the same collection week in 2021. Another measure of success, was the increase in demand for green bins at the Waste Diversion Site, “On average, we normally sell or provide about 100 units per month; however, for the months leading up to the program, we saw a surge in demand to close to 400 units per month.” says Greg Preston, Manager of Environmental Services. “Not only does this increase in organics collection help extend the life of the City’s landfill, it is better for the environment overall and an important climate change action for our community.”
As with any change, there were some ongoing questions and according to Waste Diversion Site Coordinator, Tyler McClure, the two top questions have been:
1) Why is the City switching to a clear bag program?
Tyler’s response: “In addition to extending the life of our current landfill facility,” Tyler noted, “the adaption of clear bags also increases worker safety, as now the collection teams can see and avoid any hazardous items that are put out in the garbage. It also helps remove hazardous waste from the waste stream, such as batteries, paint, pharmaceuticals, oils, etc. “
2) And, what should I do with my pet waste?
“Pet waste, such as cat litter, can be placed loose in the clear bag, or in one or both of the two allowed privacy bags.” Tyler added.
Small, everyday changes can make positive differences in reducing emissions and promoting greater sustainability. Sustainable Orillia salutes City staff, Mayor and Council, plus Orillians for making this positive change happen … another step on the road to a more sustainable community.