Shelburne limits garbage bag exchange

May 30, 2013   ·   0 Comments

Shelburne council has affirmed its decision to offer residents clear garbage bags in exchange for opaque ones they have left over, but has set a limit of 96 bags (two boxes of 48) on the number it will replace.

Garbage, recyclables and organics will all be collected by Green for Life under contract to Dufferin County beginning next week. Local municipalities are no longer responsible for waste collection and disposal but the local councils have to deal with local issues related to the collections.

The requirement for the use of clear garbage bags, rather than opaque (green or black) ones is one of the county’s regulations under the bylaw uploading waste management.

In Shelburne, the major complaint from residents has been about what to do with leftover black bags once the clear-bag requirement sets in. Mayor Ed Crewson pointed out that they do have a three-week grace period in which to use some of them.

The mayor, however, said the critical week would be the fourth week of the new system, and would come just ahead of Canada Day, July 1. “The worst thing in the fourth week (would be) to have black garbage bags on every lawn (for Canada Day).” He suggested the town could use some of the money it is saving under the new system to replace whatever black bags people have, “if that’s what it takes to get people to buy in.”

Deputy Clerk Jennifer Willoughby had raised the issue for the council’s direction on the replacement of black bags. She didn’t say it, but a lot of outlets are likely to place their stocks of black bags on sale because of the new county rules. She just wanted to know about persons who arrive with large quantities and whether there should be a limit.

The mayor wasn’t so sure. “I can’t imagine anyone is so corrupt they would take advantage of this (by buying black on sale to exchange for clear),” he said.

Nonetheless, Councillor Tom Egan said there should be a “cut off date” for exchange, and Councillor Geoff Dunlop said, “if we’re gonna publicize, there has to be a limit.”

Councillor Walter Benotto calculated that two boxes of bags, each containing 48 bags, would be ample as a two-month supply.

His motion to set a limit of a two-box exchange carried.

In the end, no one had questioned whether or not it would be possible to use existing stocks of black bags as privacy bags by folding such as to reduce their size to a depth of less than 20 inches.

The current county waste website states: “Each bag/container may contain 2 opaque privacy bags. The privacy bag should be about the size of a standard kitchen bag and must not exceed 51 x 56 cm (20 x 22 in).”

The original intent had been to allow one privacy bag of about the size of a regular store plastic grocery bag. That rule was amended by county council recently.


By Wes Keller




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