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Oct. 15, 2021 | Friday
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Region’s push to use green bins more is OK with many NOTL residents
St. Davids resident Brigitte Bassie says she supports the changes to collection. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

As they put out their bins and bags for collection last week, many NOTL residents said the Region of Niagara’s plan to trash weekly garbage pickup is a good move.

The change to garbage collection every second week is scheduled to begin in October 2020, which gives residents a full year to make necessary changes to their garbage and recycling habits.

Two garbage bags will be accepted every other week. Blue and grey bins, as well as green organic waste containers, will still be collected weekly.

One major reason cited for the change is to encourage residents to use green bins more often for organic waste, such as food scraps and leftovers.

The average garbage container put out to the curb across the region every week contains 50 per cent organic material, 14 per cent recyclable items and 36 per cent garbage, according to Catherine Habermebl, Niagara’s acting director of waste management services.

Switching to biweekly garbage collection would encourage Niagara residents to use their green bins properly and the region needs a policy change to hit its target goal of diverting 65 per cent of waste from landfills, Habermebl told regional councillors before they approved the change. In 2018, the diversion rate was 56 per cent.

There has been plenty of negative online and social media commentary from people who oppose the alternate week collection plan, but interviews with residents on garbage day found everyone on-board with the idea.

Virgil resident Kathy Rode said if composting and recycling separation is done correctly, she doesn’t see any issue with the changes.

“I think I’m OK with that because if you’re doing the composting and the separating then there isn’t much garbage. I think people will take to it. I mean, we’ve got to do it,” she said.

“People hate change, but usually change is for the better. We even squish our cans down. I don’t know why people don’t take the time. But they’re going to have to because things are going to start to change,” Rode added.

St. Davids resident Brigitte Bassie said she’s already “spoiled” when it comes to garbage collection in NOTL.

“You’re asking a girl who came from Haliburton. I would have to drive to the dump and deliver my own garbage.
So, long story short, for me, once a week is brilliant. Every other week, as a senior without others in the home, that’s OK for me,” she said.

She does sympathize with larger families and said households with more people may take issue with the changes. And she doesn’t want to see anyone losing their job over new collection plans.

“For a family, that could really stack up. And I don’t really want to see the garbage men losing their jobs and people losing work because of that,” she said.

Virgil resident Dave Martineau said although he knows some people will not be pleased with the changes, he thinks it will be for the best.

“Well, I know people are upset about it, but it actually doesn’t bug me. Usually we have about a half a bag a week, so I don’t think it’ll bother us too much,” he said.