- Councillor's Corner
Organics recycling is an important part of the City of Ottawa’s long term Waste Strategy. Diverting residential organic waste away from landfill saves the City millions of dollars and reduces the need for additional landfill sites.
Your green bin is now being collected each and every week, 52 weeks a year.
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In the spring of 2018, City Council approved a new agreement with Orgaworld Canada that will improve green bin service for residents; the renegotiated contract will allow residents to put plastic bags and dog waste in their green bins.
Residents frequently complained of insects in their green bin, especially in the summer, and requested to resume weekly garbage pick up. For those that do already use the Green Bin, they will be able to use either paper or plastic bags to contain the material – there will be no need to purchase special bags for the bins. I think that this contract renegotiation is a big step in making the green bins a more convenient service for residents to use, making the bi-weekly garbage pick more practical as well.
Under the revised contract, Orgaworld Canada Ltd. will expand services within the current legal contract without the cost of cancelling the agreement.
The Green Bin program expansion will save tax payers money. Cancelling the contract with Orgaworld would have costed the city between $5 and $27 million. In a cancellation scenario, the Orgaworld facility would continue to operate and would be free to accept organic waste, including plastic bags, dog feces, sanitary products and diapers, from other municipalities in Ontario and Quebec without requiring the City’s permission. The renegotiation also saves taxpayer money as it ended current arbitrations with the company, as previously mentioned, which would cost the city millions to continue litigations.
The renegotiation does not bind the City to a longer contract, providing the City with more options with respect to managing the program in the future, as new technologies are developed and the industry responds to changing demands. The revised contract will also help to extend the life of the Trail Road landfill, meet new provincial targets for waste diversion, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
I have heard some concerns about odour coming from of the Trail Road facility with the addition of dog waste, which was an early concern that I shared. I have also heard comparisons to the Orgaworld facility in London. Unlike the London facility, the Ottawa facility accepts yard waste, which dilutes and helps to absorb odour-causing organics. In addition, the London facility received waste from the Greater Toronto Area, using transfer stations as well, which gave the waste more time to putrefy before being processed. The different containment procedures that were developed to mitigate the odour at the London facility will be implemented at the Ottawa facility from the start, in addition to a $4 million dollar odour abatement program.
While I do not think the renegotiated terms were perfect, I do think the changes are a significant improvement. To not support the renegotiated terms would in effect be a vote for the status quo. I decided that the increased level of service and the efficiencies renegotiated in the payment structure made this a worthwhile change, and an improvement over the previous contract