Toms: If Ottawa is serious about climate change, it needs to address curbside waste

By Bill Toms, Ottawa Citizen, January 22, 2020

Ottawa’s climate emergency declaration in 2019 means we need to re-examine “business as usual” in delivering our municipal services. A “climate lens” requires more than just reducing the compostable wastes that are going into our landfill. It includes reviewing how residents currently pay for all curbside waste collections. New incentives and fees can efficiently reduce residual waste and increase diversion and recycling.

Today’s flat-rate billing of most households for most of our curbside waste collection provides no financial incentives for individual residents to re-use, repair, reduce, recycle, etc. Residents who choose to ignore the societal benefits of more sustainable options pay the same for their curbside solid waste services as their more environmentally progressive neighbours. Ottawa’s notional six-bag biweekly curbside limit does not seem to be rigorously enforced.

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