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Curbside waste collection changes

Changes are coming March 2017

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 will take effect in March of 2017, when the new waste collection contract begins. The changes include:

  • Garbage collection every two weeks: Four garbage bag/containers (maximum of 50 pounds or 23 kilograms each) will be collected once every two weeks
  • Bulky items and appliances collected every two weeks: Three items that cannot fit in a standard garbage bag/container will be collected once every two weeks
  • Weekly blue box and green bin collection in the rural areas of the Townships: Currently, rural areas receive 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: Currently, some areas do not receive yard waste collection
  • Garbage tag program to accommodate garbage bag/container set-out beyond the four bag/container limit
  • Exemption program An exemption to the garbage limit for residents with medical conditions.

Frequently asked questions about the curbside collection changes can be found here

The collection changes will result in several benefits, including:

  • 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

To learn more about the benefits of the collection changes, click here.

How can I stay informed?

  • Keep up-to-date on the process by visiting this webpage
  • Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay informed about upcoming changes
  • Send an email with your comments and ideas

How can I prepare for these changes?

  • Monitor your garbage and bulky item set out to see if you will meet the new limits.
  • Continue to participate in curbside programs (e.g. blue box, yard waste, and green bin) and drop-off programs (e.g. household hazardous waste, Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity donation centres).
  • If you are not green binning but want to (since it will reduce your garbage between 30 to over 50 per cent!), pick up your free kit at either our Cambridge (201 Savage Drive) or Waterloo (925 Erb Street West, Gate 1) administration offices between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
  • Download My Waste app. This app has several functions to help you - including quick links to waste management information and reminders for collection schedules. See below for download details. An online version is available, too!

    My Waste app image

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

Step 1:  Develop 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:  Conduct 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:  Analyze 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:  Provide summaries of survey results

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

Step 5:  Recommend service options for discussion and approval

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. To view the minutes of the meeting, click here.

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 videoAfter discussion, the recommended changes were approved by the Committee. 

Regional Council approved the Committee report and finalized the changes on June 3, 2015.  To view the minutes of the meeting, click here

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