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New garbage bag limit starts today. Charge for extra bag is $2

You can place a maximum of four additional bags at the curb on the scheduled garbage collection day as long as the bags over the limit are properly tagged
2018-03-15 - Garbage bags - AB
Garbage bags at the curb. Photo/iStock

It's going to be a little bit tougher managing your garbage pickup now as the City is imposing a new garbage bag limit.

Starting today, the weekly garbage limit will change from three bags/containers per residential household per week to two.

The maximum weight for each bag/container is 15 kg or 35lbs. Containers can't be larger than 150 L (33 gal.).

When you have more bags than the limit, you must buy tags. You can place a maximum of four additional bags at the curb on the scheduled garbage collection day as long as the bags over the limit are properly tagged. Tags are $2.

See: Council backs changes to local waste collection

The City claims this change is aimed at helping to protect the environment by increasing recycling within the community and diverting more waste from the municipal landfill, thereby extending the life of the facility.

"Past audits have indicated as much as 40 per cent of residential waste arriving at the landfill could have been recycled," says the City's website. "The Merrick Landfill Site is a multi-million dollar City asset and space in the landfill is extremely valuable. The cost of a new landfill site is estimated at more than $10 million."

The City will continue to provide weekly curbside garbage collection and says it will not realize any savings in contractor costs as a result of this new bag limit.

"Though there may be a small stream of additional revenue generated through an uptick to the existing bag tag system, the overall, long-term goal of the new bag limit is to divert as much recyclable and reusable waste from the landfill site as possible. Any additional revenue generated through the bag tag system will be used to support diversion programs."

Bag tags to go on extra bags/receptacles are available for purchase for times, such as during spring cleaning or when moving, when residents have more garbage than normal, exceeding the two-bag limit. The City will collect four extra garbage bags/receptacles per household as long as they have a bag tag.

Garbage bag tags are sold at the Customer Service Centre on the Main Floor of City Hall at 200 McIntyre St. East.

How to Use Bag Tags

Use one bag tag for each garbage bag or receptacle over the allowable limit of two bags/receptacles.

On a garbage bag:

  • secure top of the garbage bag with a twist tie or not.
  • attach bag tag above the knot, on the neck of the bag. Do not use tags as a twist tie.
  • ensure the tag has adhesive ends pressed tightly together and the full tag can be seen.

On a garbage can:

  • do not place the bag tag on the garbage container itself.
  • place the bag tag on the top bag inside the garbage container.
  • make sure the bag tag is clearly visible when the collector opens the lid.
  • only one tag on the top bag for the entire container to be collected as long as it is no larger than 150 L (33 gal) and weighs no more than 15 kg (35 lbs).

Waste collectors will not accept bags/receptacles with torn tags. You must bring garbage that can’t be bagged or placed in a container that is 150 L (33 gals) to the Merrick Landfill, which is  21 kilometres from downtown North Bay, off Highway 11 North on Sand Dam Road in Merrick Township.