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Council approves new policy to divert waste from landfill

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

From the City of Ottawa





Ottawa – City Council today approved a new policy to reduce unnecessary waste going to landfill, that will work towards meeting provincially mandated diversion targets and increasing participation in recycling and green bin programs.

The new policy will allow residents to put out three garbage items every two weeks

  • A garbage item can be a garbage bag, a 140-litre container or bulky item. Households can put several smaller bags in containers up to 140 litres.

  • There will continue to be no limit to how much residents can set out through curbside recycling and green bins.

Currently, 85 per cent of households are setting out three or fewer garbage items bi-weekly; this recommendation focuses on the remaining 15 per cent of Ottawa households and aims to drive up their diversion efforts.

Staff will look into leveraging its existing Yellow Bag Program to permit residential properties receiving curbside collection flexibility to purchase and set out additional bags. Council also approved a third-party review of its waste-diversion data to ensure staff has the best possible information to support decisions for its Solid Waste Master Plan.

This policy is part of a multi-pronged approach to reduce the amount of waste requiring disposal and extend the life of the Trail Waste Facility landfill, which could reach capacity in 13 to 15 years. The City will consider medium- and long-term options, including alternative technologies, as part of the draft Solid Waste Master Plan this fall.

Staff will report back to Council with an implementation and communication plan before the new program begins, no later than Q2 2024. This report will include strategies to address challenges and mitigate risks, and a comprehensive plan to guide residents through the change.

Council received an update on the transition to the new Provincial Blue Box Program, in which producers will be responsible for collecting and processing recyclable materials from eligible sources. The City will transition to the new program beginning on July 1, 2023, with the transition period ending on December 31, 2025. The City has negotiated an agreement with Circular Materials Ontario to continue collecting recyclables on producers’ behalf throughout the transition period and residents will see no change to their usual curbside recycling service.

Council approved an agreement for OC Transpo to finalise and execute the agreement with Envari to provide the charging infrastructure and power supply to support OC Transpo’s continued transition to zero-emission buses. The City’s intent is to contract with Envari for the design, procurement, installation, and commissioning of the charging infrastructure for 350 electric buses. This agreement is intended to cover the period from 2023 to 2025.

Council approved a series of changes to City policies, by-laws and processes to help speed up development review. The Province recently introduced timelines for processing both site plan control applications and Zoning By-law amendment applications. If no changes had been made to City process, the new timeline pressures could have caused loss of City revenues as failure to meet the new timelines requires the City to refund application fees.

To help with the added workload, Council also approved funding sources to add 37 full-time equivalent positions.

Council also approved a strategy to address the City’s heritage program as a result of recent changes to the Ontario Heritage Act, stemming from the Province’s Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act. Bill 23 introduced new statutory timelines for properties listed on the City’s Heritage Register.. Bill 23 amended heritage designation criteria to both listings and designations. The City will begin identifying properties that are strong candidates for designation under the act and will then prioritize based on risk, program diversification, geography and architectural significance.

Council also approved improvements to the ByWard Market, including a new governance model and a number of capital projects in the City’s ByWard Market Public Realm Plan for partner government funding asks. The ByWard Market District Authority will use the existing Municipal Services Corporation legal structure, with a new Board of Directors, expanded operating mandate that includes economic diversification, special events, quality public space maintenance, community safety and well-being, and new branding.

For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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