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Sweeping changes are coming to London's curbside waste collection. Here's what you need to know


Sweeping changes are coming to how London households dispose of their trash.

The long-delayed green bin program for separating organic waste from recyclables and garbage will start during the week of Jan. 15, 2024 — pending council approval.

“To get ready for the launch we have to get the green bin carts delivered, which will take about two months,” explained Director of Climate Change, Environment, and Waste Jay Stanford. “We also have to work around the holiday season.”

Originally intended to launch in late 2021, the program to separate household organic waste was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and a supply chain issue that slowed delivery of new waste collection trucks.

The introduction of green bins will mark the end of London’s confusing eight-day rotating garbage collection schedule.

Reverting to same day collection means green bins and blue box recycling will be collected once a week, and households will be permitted up to three containers of garbage every two weeks.

Bi-weekly garbage collection (reduced from 42 times per year to 26 times per year) is expected to encourage households to redirect organics and recyclables into the blue box and green bins for weekly curbside disposal.

“Green bins alone are going to divert another 10 to 12 per cent of the materials that we place at the curb, the new program is also going to increase the amount of recycling that we have,” explained Stanford.

A chart illustrating upcoming changes to curbside waste collection in London, Ont. (Source: City of London)However, the changes may create a new challenge for some households.

Baby diapers, incontinence products, and pet waste will not be permitted in green bins.

Instead, they will continue to be disposed with a household’s regular garbage that moves from the current eight-day collection cycle to every 14 days.

“Londoners that are handling pet waste, Londoners handling diapers, will have to hold on to that material an extra four to six days,” confirmed Stanford.

He added that the city will be able to adjust decisions around pet waste and other changes if too many challenges arise.

Paying for extra bag tags or dropping off garbage at Enviro Depots will continue to be an option for households with excess waste.

Staff recommend increasing the price of a bag tags from $1.50 to $2.00.

The city is preparing a comprehensive public education campaign before the launch of the green bin program.

Stanford said sorting mistakes are anticipated as London’s 121,000 households learn the new system.

“Enforcement is a last resort,” he said. “We know there is going to be a long grace period here as people get used to this.”

The Civic Works Committee will consider a report on the green bin program at its meeting on Aug. 15. Top Stories


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