Changes made to waste collection in Waterloo

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Changes to how waste will be collected in the Waterloo Region will come into effect this March 2017.

The new changes will affect all single family homes that qualify for curbside collection, as well as small apartments that have up to six units.

Single family homes will be limited to four bags or cans of garbage every two weeks and small apartments with two to six units will be limited to 10 bags or cans of garbage, which will also be collected every other week.

The collection of green bin and blue box items, however, will continue its unlimited weekly collection.

Cari Howard, project manager of Waste Management, explained that the decision to alter waste collection was made by the regional council in June 2015.

“There were a couple of different reasons. One is the cost savings on our collection contracts,” Howard said.

With fewer trucks on the road due to garbage being collected once every two weeks, there will be a significant cost savings for what was paid to collect each week.

“As well, we are hoping to drive more sustainable behaviour. By collecting garbage every two weeks, but continuing to collect green bins and blue boxes every week, we hope we’ll encourage residents to maximize their use of the green bins and blue boxes,” Howard said.

Region of Waterloo also hopes to strive towards better air quality, preserve and protect the environment and save space within the landfill through these changes.

Howard also explained that any students who live off-campus in single family homes will be expected to follow the new rules as well and can begin to do various things in order to prepare for the new regulations.

Each eligible home in the area will receive a new waste collection calendar. In addition, residents can download the My Waste App which will allow them to enter in their address to get the rules for the specific area they reside in.

“In addition to being able to download a personal schedule, you can set reminders so if you want to get a notification to remind you that this week is garbage week, you can,” Howard said.

The app will also provide users with notifications from the Waterloo Region when they have news or alerts which they want to send out proactively.

“You can also access our waste wiz search tool through the app, which is our lookup system. If you’re not sure if something goes in the green bin, blue box or the garbage, you type it into the search box and it will tell you where it should go,” Howard said.

In order to get accustomed to the new rules before they come into effect in March, students are encouraged to start using their green bins and their blue boxes as much as possible. The use of a green bin can reduce amounts of garbage produced by one single family home by approximately 30 to 50 per cent,

“Using the green bin and blue boxes as much as possible really is what will make people successful with these changes,” Howard said.

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