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 ottawa.ca/greenbin.

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.

Column: July 4, 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 ottawa.ca/greenbin.

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.

Order of Ottawa & Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching

The City is now accepting nominations, until September 13, for both the Order of Ottawa and the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching.

The Order of Ottawa is a prestigious civic award that recognizes exceptional citizen contributions in the many areas of city life including arts and culture, business, philanthropy, health care, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, sports, entertainment or other fields of endeavour that benefit the citizens of Ottawa. Past recipients from West Carleton-March who have received this award are Todd Nicholson, Emily Glossop and Dr. Barry Bruce.

The Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching to acknowledge the contribution of an amateur coach who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment that have been the hallmarks of Brian Kilrea's exceptional career. Ward 5 resident Greg Patacairk is a past recipient of this award.

For more information on the nomination process and eligibility requirements for both awards, please visit www.ottawa.ca/orderofottawa. If you know someone in our community that would be a worthy recipient of either of these awards, please consider nominating them so they can receive some much-deserved recognition.

Committee recommends two-year process to develop 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.

Column: April 4, 2018

Stay clear of ice covered waterways

As temperatures begin to climb and with rain in the forecast, flows and levels across the Mississippi River watershed are expected to increase. No significant flooding is anticipated at this time. However, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) reminds the public to exercise extreme caution around all water bodies. Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and, when combined with current weather conditions, pose a serious hazard. Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from all watercourses and off frozen water bodies, which have been weakened as a result of the warming conditions. Residents in low lying areas, historically susceptible to flooding, should take the necessary precautions to protect their property, such as:

  • Ensuring sump pumps are clear and in good working condition
  • Removing or securing items that might float away as flows increase

 Daily water levels and flows are available on the MVCA website at http://mvc.on.ca/water-levels/. The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority flood forecasting and warning program monitors weather conditions, snowpack water content, estimates expected river flows and water levels and issues flood advisories or warnings as required. MVCA provides early warning and continuous monitoring to municipal and provincial emergency response personnel through a flood event.

Council approves better green bin service

At the March 28 City Council meeting, Council approved a new agreement with Orgaworld Canada that will make it easy for residents to recycle organic waste, keeping it out of landfills. The new agreement approved that:

  • dog waste will be allowed in green bins
  • residents will also be allowed to put their organic waste in plastic bags

The full report can be reviewed on ottawa.ca. Please note, these changes noted above will only go into effect in mid-2019. Do not put these items into your green bin until then.

Fundraising event:  Trivia Night in Carp

Tickets still available for my April 13th Trivia Night in Carp. This is an event raising funds for the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation’s Hope Rising Campaign for Mental Health. It’s guaranteed to be a fun evening, so get your tickets soon: https://TriviaNightInCarp.eventbrite.com.

Column: December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas!

My wife Maha and I would like to wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas season. Have fun and enjoy time with your friends and loved ones. As you celebrate the season please remember – do not drink and drive.

We’d like to extend a special thank you in advance to our emergency services personnel – our volunteer firefighters, paramedics and police. This is an especially busy time of year for emergency services and many of them work through the holidays, away from their own families, to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.

Don’t forget to recycle & compost

Your green, black and blue bins are ready to meet all your holiday recycling needs. Turkey carcass and other food scraps like peelings, shells, cores and bones, all belong in the green bin. It’s also ideal for soiled paper plates and cold fireplace ashes. You can use discarded paper gift wrapping to wrap your food waste or to line your green bin. Your black box can be used to get rid of empty cardboard boxes and used paper wrapping, while the blue box can handle your plastics and glass.

During the holiday season, there will be schedule changes to city services including garbage, green bin and recycling collection. A detailed list of changes are posted on ottawa.ca
Starting the first week of 2017, Christmas trees will be collected on your regular scheduled collection day. Please remove all decorations. Christmas trees in plastic bags will not be collected.

Safety is best gift for the holiday season

  • Never leave lit candles unattended and keep them away from kids, pets and anything that can burn,
  • Make sure to have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms,
  • Keep matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children,
  • Make sure extension cords are never placed under rugs as this can cause damage to the cord and cause a fire,
  • Water your Christmas tree daily and double check the tree lights,
  • Keep your Christmas tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces, heaters and candles,
  • Cooking is the number one cause of residential fires in Ontario. Do not leave cooking food unattended.
  • Plan a fire exit route to ensure everyone knows how to get out of the house safely in case of a fire occurs.

Column: Dec. 24, 2014

Ho Ho Ho …. Merry Christmas!

My wife Maha and I love the Christmas season and we would like to take a moment to wish you and yours a merry and bright holiday season. Enjoy your time with family, friends and loved ones.

As this column is timely as it leads into the holidays, I thought I would highlight some important information that may come in handy over the next couple of weeks.

Don’t forget to recycle & compost

Your green, black and blue bins are ready to meet all your holiday recycling needs. That picked-over turkey carcass and other food scraps like peelings, shells, cores and bones, all belong in the green bin. It’s also ideal for disposing of soiled paper plates and cold fireplace ashes. You can use discarded paper gift wrapping to wrap your food waste or to line your green bin. Your black box can be used to get rid of empty cardboard boxes and used paper wrapping, while the blue box can handle your plastics and glass.

As a reminder, there will be no curbside green bin, recycling or garbage collection on Christmas Day. Christmas Day’s pickup will take place on Boxing Day. Collection will be delayed by one day for the remainder of the week.

Safety is best gift for the holiday season

  • Never leave lit candles unattended and keep them away from kids, pets and anything that can burn
  • Make sure to have working smoke detectors
  • Water your Christmas tree daily and double check the tree lights to ensure they working properly
  • As a Christmas tree dries, it becomes a fire hazard that could easily ignite. Make sure the tree is well away from heat sources such as fireplaces, heaters and candles
  • Cooking is the number one cause of residential fires in Ontario. Do not leave cooking food unattended.

Drive responsibly  

As you celebrate the season, please remember to not drink and drive. Grab a cab, have a designated driver or use Operation Red Nose 613-820-NOSE (6673) if this service is available in your area.

Merry Christmas everyone!