Curbside waste collection changes

Regional Council has approved changes to curbside waste collection for homes in Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and the Townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich. These changes came into effect on March 6, 2017 and included:

  • Garbage collection every two weeks with a four bag limit for single family homes and each duplex. Apartment buildings having 3 to 6 units can set out up to 10 bags of garbage every two weeks.(Previously, there was weekly garbage collection with a 10 garbage bag/can limit in the Cities and weekly collection with varying garbage bag/can limits in the Townships.)
  • Bulky items and appliances collected every two weeks with a three item limit. These are items that cannot fit in a standard garbage bag/can. Apartment buildings having 3 to 6 units can set out a maximium of 10 bulky items/appliances every two weeks. (Previously, there was unlimited weekly collection in the Cities and monthly 5 item limit in the Townships.)
  • Weekly blue box and green bin collection in the rural areas of the Townships:  Previously, rural areas received blue box collection every two weeks and do not receive green bin collection.
  • Seasonal yard waste collection every two weeks in the rural areas of the Townships:  Previously, some areas did not receive yard waste collection.
  • Garbage tag program to accommodate garbage bag/container set-out beyond the bag/container limit. This is a new program.
  • Exemption program to accommodate garbage produced by residents having medical conditions. This is a new program.  

What are the benefits of these changes?

  • Preserve and protect our environment
  • Better air quality
  • Reduce costs and save space in the landfill
  • Encourage everyone to think about the waste they generate, and to manage it responsibly

Learn more about the benefits of the collection changes.

How did these changes come about? What steps were taken?

Step 1:  Developing a Master Plan

In November, 2013, Regional Council approved a new Waste Management Master Plan (WMMP) after an extensive research process including two separate rounds of public consultation. The Plan included a Waste Reduction and Diversion Study, which made recommendations to help reduce the amount of waste going to our landfill.

Three options for curbside program changes were included in the study:

  • Bi-weekly garbage collection
  • Reduce and standardize garbage bag limits
  • User-pay system

Step 2:  Conducting more public consultation

In December, 2014, a survey about curbside waste collection options was open to residents of Waterloo Region. Over 500 demographically representative households across Waterloo Region were directly surveyed by a consulting company, and the same survey was also open to all residents to complete either online or over the telephone. Over 7,000 responses were received to the open survey.

Step 3:  Analyzing survey results

In January, 2015, staff began going through the information from over 7,500 responses to the curbside waste collection survey, and creating recommendations for the future of curbside collection. They also began addressing the question of What are the options when our landfill is full? 

Step 4:  Providing summaries of survey results

In April, 2015, the results of the curbside waste collection summary were released:

Step 5:  Recommending and seeking approval for service options

Based on survey feedback, and research from the Waste Collection and Diversion Study, staff presented two preliminary service level options for curbside waste service to Planning & Works Committee on April 14, 2015. The report with details, TES-WMS-15-05, is available here. 

Residents were invited to present feedback to Regional Council members at a special committee meeting held on May 6, 2015. Click here to view the minutes of the May 6, 2015 meeting.

At the Planning and Works Committee meeting on May 26th, 2015, the Committee was informed about the feedback from residents, and a few delegations presented comments about and ideas for the proposed changes to curbside collection. Click here to view the agenda/report, minutes and video of the May 26, 2015 meetingAfter discussion, the recommended changes were approved by the Committee. 

Regional Council approved the Committee report and finalized the changes on June 3, 2015. Click here to view the June 3, 2015 meeting minutes

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