New food waste containers and recycling bins for city residents are now being rolled out until the end of the month.
The deliveries have sparked some questions, says Jon Mills, who works for the city in curbside collection services.
Each household gets one set of bins, he explains, so people with rental suites in their homes don’t get bins automatically.
“It’s all property-tax based. Households pay one garbage collection fee through their property taxes.”
There are options if the waste generated by the rental suite can’t be accommodated by the household.
While recycling is unlimited, the rental suite may have to get its own bin as the blue plastic bags are no longer accepted for recycling. However, the blue plastic bags that you might have stockpiled can be used for garbage.
Garbage and recycling are picked up on alternating weeks so there will be no confusion.
There is a one-bag limit on garbage. A household can purchase tags for $3 each or can sign up with the garbage collector if there’s more than one bag.
While recycling and garbage is picked up every second week – recycling one week, garbage the next – food waste is picked up every week. All three collections take place on the same day of the week, the day designated for your area – see the city website.
The blue bin is for recycling and if you end up needing two, you can use another type of bin. However, it must be labelled for recycling. You can make your own label or the city will have labels available after July 1.
The food waste kitchen catcher is beige, while the food waste bin for curbside is green.
If you need more than one green bin for food waste, you must pay $25, then a subscription fee of $60 for the whole year. If you have a large residence with two suites, for instance, you could buy two extra bins and two subscription fees.
However, if it’s a one-off situation with an unusually large amount of food waste or garbage, extra can be accommodated by purchasing tags from the city.
No need to put food waste in bags or containers inside the city food-waste bins, but if you use plastic bags, they must be compostable.
Because some types of paper containers are compostable, Mills says he knows of one person who puts her food waste in cereal boxes. Also okay are greasy pizza boxes, napkins, newspapers, etc.
Mills encourages residents not to buy extra bins at the start of the program unless they know 100 per cent they’ll need more.
Mills says he lives by the handy Recycle Coach app that provides, via text or email, information, schedules, alerts and anything else residents might need to know about the program. Anyone who signs up for the app by July 4 is entered in a draw.