As of March 2017, the garbage collection rules in Waterloo Region were changed. The updates are largely part of an effort to cut back on household waste and harmful emissions from garbage trucks. The most noticeable changes for residents of Kitchener and Waterloo have been the switch to bi-weekly garbage collection, and collection limits. However, there are several other, smaller, changes that we have answered for you below.
How do I know what my collection day is?
Look up your collection day here. For most residents of Waterloo Region, your collection day will not have changed. However, for some residents of Kitchener, North Dumfries, and Woolwich, Wellesley and Wilmot Townships, collection days have been changed to improve efficiency and reduce emissions.
Do I have to wait 2 weeks for all waste to be collected?
No. The good news is, it is only garbage and bulky items that have been switched to a bi-weekly schedule. All recyclable and compostable items will continue to be collected every week. This means that if you don’t currently have a compost bin, you may want to get one! Getting rid of food waste every week instead of every other week will help to reduce any food related odours and even flies or insects that may be attracted to decomposing food.
Where can I get a compost bin and do they cost money?
Compost bins or “green bins” are completely free, and you can always pick up an additional bin or replace a broken bin. There are two pick up locations for green bins:
- Cambridge (201 Savage Drive) or
- Waterloo (925 Erb Street West, Gate 1)
These waste management administration buildings are open from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday to Friday.
Are blue bins still free in Waterloo Region?
Unfortunately, blue bins are no longer available for free pickup in the same way that green bins are. New homes or residents are now the only ones who are eligible for free blue bins. New residents can pick up these bins at the same locations listed above, with a copy of your new deed or purchase agreement. For more information about using blue boxes, look here and to learn how to get a new blue box, look here.
What are the new garbage rules?
Household waste (i.e. everything that is not recycling or compost) will now be collected every other week on your garbage day. Single family homes have a limit of 4 standard size garbage bags every 2 weeks, and buildings with 3 to 6 units will have a slightly larger allowance of 10 standard sized bags or cans every 2 weeks.
What are bulky items?
Bulky items are essentially any waste that does not fit in a standard garbage bag or can. Households items such as lamps or couches and large appliances would be examples of bulky items. These items are also picked up every two weeks, on the same day as your garbage is collected. There is a limit of 3 bulky items for single family homes.
What are garbage tags and do I need them?
Tags are an approved tag that you can purchase online or at various waste centres for $2 each. (For a full list of places you can buy garbage tags, click here and look under “where to buy garbage tags”) Odds are you do not actually need to buy garbage tags. These are only necessary for “extra” bags of garbage. Your household can put out 4 standard sized garbage bags every two weeks without any tags. If you need to put out more than 4 bags on your collection day, the 5th, 6th, 7th, etc. bags will need to have an approved tag, or else they will not be collected.
What if I live in an apartment building?
If you live in an apartment building that has more than 6 units, these changes likely will not affect you. Buildings with more than 6 units are considered businesses under Ontario Provincial law, and therefore handle their own waste collection privately. Your waste collection is not handled by the region and therefore will not be affected by the new policies.
If you have any more questions about the garbage collection changes, try looking here.
Another useful post for Waterloo Region residents: Watering Restrictions In Waterloo Region – When Can I Water My Lawn?