Column: July 11, 2019

Changes to the Green Bin Program

Starting on July 2, plastic bags are now allowed to be used as a clean and easy bagging option for your food scraps. If residents choose to use plastic bags to dispose of their organics, they are encouraged to reuse bags that may otherwise be thrown out, such as grocery/retail, milk or bread bags. The organic waste facility has been retrofitted to rip open the plastic bags and separate the organic waste for composting. The plastic bags are then disposed in the landfill. Residents can explore all options and learn what type of organic materials go into the green bin at

Why this change to allow plastic bags in the green bin? When asked in a market research survey, 60% of people who seldom use or do not use the green bin said they would participate if plastic bags were allowed. The use of plastic or compostable bags will address the inconvenience and ‘yuck’ factors for residents who are hesitant to use the green bin. These changes will also make the green bin even more convenient and easier to keep clean.

Developing a Waste Master Plan

On June 25, The City’s Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management recommended Council approve a two-year process to develop the City’s second Solid Waste Master Plan. The new 30-year master plan would provide the overall framework, direction and goals for solid waste management, diversion and reduction policy over the short, medium and long term. It would look at how the City collects and processes waste, and how we could increase waste diversion rates. Refocusing our approach to waste management will help keep Ottawa clean and livable over the long-term and help extend the life of the Trail Road Landfill, which is currently expected to reach capacity in 2042. Following extensive, inclusive and ongoing public engagement and consultation, the master plan would come to the Committee for consideration by the end of 2021, along with the initial five-year implementation plan. Staff would provide updates and new implementation plans every five years, making the master plan adaptable as new technologies, legislation, policies, information and ideas emerge. This item will go to City Council for final approval at the Council meeting on July 10, 2019.