HRM prepares for changes to curbside garbage collection

Halifax Regional Municipality spreads the word about changes to curb side garbage collection and enforcing the use of clear garbage bags for residences beginning in August.

The Halifax Regional Municipality spreads the word about changes to curbside garbage collection to enforce the use of clear garbage bags for residences on Aug. 1.

Single-unit residents will be required to place their garbage in a maximum of six clear garbage bags, only one of which can be black or private.

For multi-unit buildings a maximum of four clear garbage bags may be placed on the curb for pickup. Of those four only one can be black.

Garbage bags will still be able to be placed in standard sized garbage cans for storage and privacy.

Matthew Keliher, acting manager of Halifax’s solid waste division, said HRM is in the process of a public education campaign using print, radio, and digital advertising.

“Over 140,000 residences have been mailed pamphlets explaining what’s new and when it will take effect,” he said.

The decision to switch to clear bags was done to improve the accuracy of garbage pickup, Keliher said. “When curbside garbage is picked up, garbage collectors can see what items are being thrown away and prevent the disposal of any banned items.”

Shannon Betts, a waste resource analyst for HRM, said that the use of clear garbage bags would also promote proper recycling habits.

“Waste audits conducted over the past few years show that approximately half of the material arriving at our landfill should have been recycled or composted,” said Betts.

As a part of the public education campaign, retail outlets are in the process of changing their stock to include a variety of clear bags. There has been a six-month advanced notice of the changes, and Halifax solid waste staff has been working closely with bag manufacturers.

Keliher said residents would be responsible for proper sorting of garbage. “Items that don’t belong will be ticketed and not taken by garbage collectors,” he said.