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Clear garbage bags coming curbside in Wellington

Clear garbage bags could begin appearing curbside in Wellington during November and December if residents participate in a pilot project aimed at diverting more recycling and hazardous waste from landfill.

Proposed by councillor Mike Harper in July, the volunteer-driven test project tests research showing clear garbage bags create an obligation with residents to ensure more recycling materials are put in the blue bin and that hazardous waste materials are dealt with properly.

Harper noted several municipalities have taken on the initiative, including Tweed, Central Hastings and Stirling. Garbage collectors are instructed to examine the clear bags for excessive recycling content, or hazardous waste. If the ratio is deemed too high, the bag would be tagged appropriately, and not collected.

During the two-month period of testing, bags would be counted to demonstrate compliance and would be collected regardless of excessive recycling content. Items deemed inappropriate for public eyes should be placed inside another bag so they cannot be seen.

Residents can choose to participate, or not.

The Wellington Clear Garbage Bag Pilot Committee will provide a sample clear garbage bag to each household, and plans to raise awareness with print materials, by going door-to-door and by
holding several town hall meetings.

The project is being funded by donations from the public, and council is being asked to name it a project of community interest to administer receiving donations, processing tax receipts and invoices for expenses.

During November and December Quinte Waste Solutions will weigh the recycling collected and count the number of clear garbage bags being picked up. This data will be compared with weights and black bag numbers before the pilot project began.

Once the pilot is complete, the committee will survey Wellington residents about their experiences and opinions on the pilot and obtain the results from Quinte Waste Solutions’ on recycling weights and number of bags collected. This will most likely take place in January and February of 2020. Once all results are in, the committee will make a deputation to council to report findings.

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  1. MI says:

    Be prepared to see garbage along the sideroads of the County. I applaud the idealism of the exercise, however human nature will prevail. The more complicated you make things, the more people will push back. As a taxpayer already paying too much, the cost to the County to pick up the dumped trash, prosecute those they catch, and pay for the extra time it takes to examine everyone’s garbage, is unacceptable. (You know Waste Management
    isn’t going to do this for free).
    God knows how many more staff will be hired for this idea. Serve County residents, not burden them with more rules and costs.
    Who would have guessed that we would be blessed with “garbage police “.

  2. Dave H says:

    Some of my neighbours don’t even have blue boxes let alone a green bin. Where do you think they put all their recyclable items in?

  3. LB says:

    The reason for the bags being clear is that the bag handlers can look into the bags and not have to open them. I think they are not trying to catch every little miscue but are looking for the bigger things.

    By the way – Black garbage bags, Glad 74L Regular, 40 bags – $11.49. No Name clear Recycle bags, 74L Regular, 30 bags or No Name clear Multi-Purpose bags, 74L Regular, 40 bags – both are $8.99.

    It seems like clear general use bags are cheaper and clear recycle bags are a little over $0.01 more expensive per bag than the black bags. That was an in store, on shelf price. I can’t imagine local stores being too far off that. Myth debunked!

  4. Angela says:

    I believe most people try to be good citizens and recycle conscientiously. For the elderly this may not be so easy. Somehow it seems a violation of our rights to have someone poking through our garbage and yelling “Gotcha” if they find a water bottle or a pet food tin. We all are aware of the poop and scoop bylaw and it is reasonable to assume that some of what is scooped finds it way to a garbage bag. Ditto for what is scooped from cat litter boxes. Do we really want to expose the garbage police to finding something like this as they probe the trash?

  5. LB says:

    I read this article a little differently. I thought it was “a pilot project aimed at diverting more recycling and hazardous waste from landfill”. I assume they were finding too much recyclable material in garbage bags that should have gone into the blue box. So some people are not interested in throwing their empty coffee jar or plastic lid into a blue box. They just as soon throw everything out in one bag as garbage. I guess that prematurely fills up the landfill sites. When the sites are full they are hard to replace (no one wants them). I also assume they were finding things like batteries, paint cans, old electronics and a host of other hazardous materials that are not good for landfills going out with the regular garbage. I did not think about the government control issue or going after world polluters instead. I am really curious though as to how much clear plastic bags cost! Lastly, if you are a neighbour of the Blowers, help them out. It is difficult for seniors.

  6. Chris Keen says:

    CBC ran a story today (10/10) that “[f]or the second year in a row, Nestlé and Tim Hortons were the top companies behind branded plastic bottles, coffee cups and lids and other plastic waste collected in shoreline cleanups across the country, Greenpeace Canada reported Tuesday … Starbucks, McDonald’s and the Coca-Cola Company rounded out the top five of the environmental advocacy group’s list of plastic polluters.”

    How about we get serious about introducing deposits on EVERY recyclable container, wrapper, straw, coffee cup etc…- no matter who the retailer is – and legislating that they be recyclable if they are not already? If you sell it – you recycle it!

    Poking around in people’s garbage to look for a stray water bottle is ludicrous when we should be taking on the real culprits.

  7. Angela says:

    It seems the government now has stuck its nose in our garbage. Where does it stop? If there is so much interest in saving the environment why not a crackdown on over-packaging and the tremendous amount of cardboard and Styrofoam generated by fast food outlets with their take-out containers? Is councillor Harper in his zeal preparing to pay the difference for our clear plastic bags? They cost more than the regular ones.

  8. Dennis Fox says:

    So can people still use the blue box or not? Who pays for the clear bags? Over the past couple of years we have been told that certain items can no longer be recycled (like black plastic) and recycled materials are becoming more difficult to sell, etc… So I’m a little unclear as to why this program is being considered. Can someone clarify the questions I have asked? Thanks.

  9. Susan says:

    More government control. They want to view your garbage
    while you pay. Do not leave a small piece of plastic in that bag, or it stays on the street. Really tough for seniors.

  10. R Blower says:

    We are seniors desperately trying to stay in our home, we cannot sort through our garbage, we do well to recycle but we do the best we can. We pay for garbage collection through our taxes & another $3.00 for bag tags so I think we pay enough without having to sort through garbage. We are both disabled & 88 & 91 respectively. It seems to me the Govt. says they want us to be able to stay in our own home but they do not make it easy, we do not get any help to do so.

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