Niagara Region continues waste, recycling and organics collection service review

Niagara Region’s Waste Management Division recently completed an extensive public consultation with various stakeholders groups (residents, businesses, business groups, local area municipalities, etc.) to obtain their input on the proposed waste collection service options being considered for Niagara Region’s next waste collection contract (i.e. garbage, recycling and organics). The results of the public consultation are now being shared with local area municipal councils, for further input, before reaching Regional Council for their review in March.

Based on consultation results, the proposed waste collection service options being considered include:
  • Pricing for weekly and every other week garbage collection for all properties outside the Designated Business Areas. Under every-other-week garbage collection, weekly recycling and organics collection would continue and garbage container (bag/can) limits would double.
  • Mandatory use of clear bags for garbage for all properties (inside and outside Designated Business Areas)
  • Establish a four-item limit, per collection, for large items
  • Pricing to continue and alternatively discontinue appliances and scrap metal curbside collection
  • Change weekly, base garbage container limits for business and mixed use properties located inside the Designated Business Area from seven (7) to four (4)
  • Change weekly garbage container limit for mixed use properties location outside the Designated Business Areas from six (6) to four (4)
If the proposed waste collection service options are approved by Regional Council, they would take effect with the commencement of the Region’s next waste collection contract, which is currently set to begin March 2021.

New waste collection contracts require substantial lead times to ensure the Region can successfully complete the Request for Proposal evaluation, and allow the successful contractor time to secure collection vehicles. A complete list of project milestones related to this process are listed below.
January 2019
  • ​Results of the stakeholder consultation sessions and initial service option recommendations provided in a report to Public Works Committee and Regional Council​
  • Local municipal councils are provided with the results of the stakeholder consultations sessions and initial service option recommendations for their input
March 2019
  • ​Regional Council approval of service level options and pricing scenarios to be included in the Request for Proposal
  • Request for Proposal development initiated
  • Request for Proposal issued for next collection contract
Febuary 2020
  • ​​Next collection contract awarded​​
March 2021
  • Anticipated start of new collection contract​​
As Niagara Region’s looks to the next collection contract for 2021 the Region is proposing to obtain pricing for the option of every other week garbage collection, in addition to weekly collection. This will help with making the final decision on whether to recommend this option. 
Why are we looking into this option? There are a number of benefits for implementing every other week garbage collection, including:
1. Potential Contract Cost Avoidance
  • Collection efficiencies - fewer garbage trucks required, which provides an opportunity for collection contract savings compared to weekly garbage collection
  • In response to Niagara Region’s last collection contract RFP, excluding one submission anomaly, on average bidders priced a cost reduction of approximately $1.2 million annually for every other week garbage collection
  • Preservation of disposal capacity – using Waterloo Region’s diversion impact from every other week collection and applying it to Niagara’s residential diversion calculation, it is estimated that over a seven-year contract, approximately 88,600 tonnes of landfill capacity would be preserved
2. Environmental Benefits
  • Conservation of non-renewable resources
  • Reduced use of energy and reduced pollution (e.g. processing/manufacturing using raw material requires more energy and consumption of fossil fuels and involves emissions of air and water pollutants)
  • Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions with every-other-week garbage collection due to fewer trucks on the road
  • Avoided pesticide and fertilizer production and use from the application of compost (more compost produced)
  • Maximizes diversion of organic material and will reduce methane production from the landfill and improve leachate quality
3. Municipal Best Practice

The following Ontario municipalities provide every other week garbage collection, and their residents have adapted to this change:
  • Regions of Durham, Halton, Peel, Waterloo and York
  • Cities of Barrie, Ottawa and Toronto
These municipalities have achieved an estimated increase of between 6% and 16% in diversion from implementing every other week garbage collection
4. Increase Participation and Capture Rates in Region’s Diversion Programs
  • Low-density residential properties currently place one bag/can of garbage to the curb weekly.  Nearly 50% of this garbage is organic waste
  • Only 48% low-density residential properties use the residential Green Bin program. 
  • Every other weekvery other week garbage has been proven in other municipalities to increase participation in their recycling and organics programs
  • Industrial, Commercial and Institutional and Mixed-Use audits show diversion programs are underutilized by these properties
  • Diversion of resources through higher value activities on the 3Rs hierarchy (reduce, reuse, recycle/compost)


"We are looking forward to reviewing the purposed changes to help serve Niagara Residents better. Niagara Region is committed to making service delivery and improvements as one of our top priorities"
~ Jim Bradley, Regional Chair


Katie Desharnais
Niagara Region
905-980-6000 ext. 3290

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