LONDON, ON -- As London gets set to launch a green bin program in late 2021, the City of Stratford began rolling out its new green bin program this week.

Nine thousand green bins are being distributed to single-family homes throughout the rest of March. Green bin collection begins the week of April 6, 2020. Commercial, multi-residential, and institutional green bin programs will be phased in over the course of this year, with an additional 3,000 green bins beginning to be delivered.

Residents can use the bins to discard of table scraps like vegetable peels and egg shells, but also a number of other products like paper towel and tissue explained Waste Production Coordinator, Kate Simpson.

"We're asking residents to put their materials in the kitchen catcher. So that's the small brown and white bin. Keep that in your kitchen. And you can put all of your organic materials, paper towels, Kleenex, paper plates, all of that material can go right into the kitchen catcher, and then you're going to empty that out into the green bin."

Marlene and Doug Arnold were happy to see their bin dropped off at the curb Thursday.

"I think it's a very responsible way to help keep the landfill less filled with just actually junk and all that and this can all be recycled", said Marlene.

Green bin waste will be processed at Storm Fisher Environmental in London, and turned into bio-gas.

The Stratford green bin program costs just over $300,000 per year, in addition to the one time cost of $300,000 to buy the green bins. 

There's some financial incentive for residents, as Stratford has a user-pay system for garbage. Right now it costs residents $3.50 per bag of garbage over and above taxes. Anything diverted to the green bin is money saved. 

"I want to be more smart about the things I'm throwing out- recycling, garbage," said resident Maureen Weth. "It's something I've never done and I think it's kind of cool."

Stratford hopes to divert one thousand tonnes of material per year from its landfill, or a 50 per cent diversion rate. 

In London, city staff has estimated a green bin program will cost about $5 million annually.