Bag fees, biweekly garbage pickup considered for Waterloo Region
Could you soon be paying $2 for each bag of garbage you set on the curb?
It’s possible – as is biweekly garbage pickup or a cap on the number of bags collected by trucks.
Everything is on the table as the Region of Waterloo looks at averting the continued financial slide of its waste management operation.
“What we want to do now is start the discussion about what those possible changes could be,” Donna Serrati, the manager of engineering in the region’s waste management department.
Bag tags, which are already in place in some Ontario municipalities, would see Waterloo Region residents charged based on how much garbage they produce.
A fee of $2 per bag has already been floated as a possibility.
Should the region opt against that plan, biweekly curbside pickup could be a possibility – with recycling and organics pickup remaining weekly to encouraging keeping waste out of the landfill.
“It makes people think about their waste generation habits and what they do with their garbage,” says Serrati.
Also an option is limiting the number of bags collected from each household.
Coun. Jim Wideman says any of these options would only aim to see the region make as much money on waste management as it spends, not to see it turn a profit.
“It simply shifts from a tax base to a user base, but the amount of money that somebody’s going to pay is the same,” he says.
“I’m not convinced that that’s necessarily a good approach.”
Careful watch is also being kept on the capacity of the Waterloo landfill, which is currently expected to last for about 20 years.
Any decision on changes to garbage pickup practices won’t be made until late 2014, with the changes themselves not coming into effect until 2016.