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Waste Management Strategy

Making Waste Matter: 2020 to 2024 Strategic Document

In 2019, we spent the entire year gathering public feedback and information to help update our Integrated Waste Management Strategy, a strategic plan outlining goals and objectives to ensure we are doing the best we can to manage waste and recycling.

Did you know that since the first strategy was implemented, we have reduced the amount of garbage being picked up at the curb by 20%?

We have also donated over six tonnes of reusable materials to Habitat for Humanity and diverted 43% of waste from our landfills.
The new strategy places an emphasis on looking at ideas for more public education, textile recycling and diverting food waste within Kawartha Lakes.

Read the 2020 to 2024 Making Waste Matter: Integrated Waste Management Strategy

School education

girl holding a blue recycling bin

There are a number of organizations that provide resources for teachers and classrooms to learn about waste and recycling. School staff are encouraged to use resources from the following organizations at the links below:

Circular Economy Month

Circular Innovation Council

Waste Management

Clear Bag Program

The following is a list of frequently asked questions and answers.

1. Do clear plastic bags cost more than black or green plastic bags?
Both clear plastic and black or green plastic garbage bags are made from the same type of plastic. The only difference between clear and coloured bags is the dyes which have been added to colour bags. When buying bags, the price of clear bags should be similar to black or green bags.  Price will differ for bag size, closure type (i.e. drawstring / easy-tie), brand name or private label and how many are packed in a box.
 2. What should I do with my left over black and green garbage bags?

Residents can donate their black and green bags to friends or family that live in areas that allow these bags for collection.

 3. What about my privacy?
Residents are allowed one small privacy bag (size of standard shopping/grocery bag) in each clear bag for personal items. This provides a way for residents to shield material that they don't want others to see.  Items may include sanitary products, diapers, incontinence products, financial information, medical objects or other personal items. Clear bags of waste may also be placed into a garbage bin for added privacy until pick up.
 4. Does the use of clear garbage bags increase the diversion of waste from landfill?
Yes. Thanks to the public effort since the start of the City's clear bag program, the community has reduced the amount of curbside waste sent to landfills by 20%.
 5. What if I place recycling in the clear garbage bag?
You are allowed up to 10% recycling in the garbage. If there is more than 10% in your clear bags they will be left behind.
 6. Are clear bags recyclable?
There are no programs in place to recycle plastic bags used to collect garbage. It would be difficult to separate the plastic bags from the garbage within.
 7. Are clear bags also required at the City's landfills?
Yes, it is strongly recommended that clear bags be used to take waste to the landfill so that City landfill staff can assess the load and divert as required.  However, black bags will be accepted and charged at double tipping fees.
 8. I use garbage cans.  Does this affect what I put at the curb?
There is a limit of one small, grocery sized, privacy bag (not clear) per bag of garbage. Privacy bags can be placed in a larger clear plastic bag with garbage, or on top of loose garbage, in a garbage can. Garbage must not include recycling, construction items or hazardous waste.
 9. I have bought recycling boxes and am worried that I need more.  Does the City supply recycling boxes for free?
Residents or businesses who need more recycling boxes may buy these at City Municipal Service Centres.  The City sells different sizes of recycling boxes. Prices range from $7 for 16 gallon boxes to $9 for extra-large 22 gallon blue boxes.
 10. I am a contractor who rents bins to customers.  Are we expected to make sure there are no black or green garbage bags in the bin?
All residents and businesses in the City must participate in the clear bag program. Customers using bins will need to be educated on the clear bag program and asked to use clear bags or to leave waste loose when using bins. This will help landfill staff to assess the load for hazardous waste or recycling.
 11. I use a white garbage bag in my kitchen container and then place it in a large garbage bag.  I also use grocery bags for kitty litter to put into the large garbage bag.  Will that still be 'allowed'?
You are allowed one small (not clear) privacy bag the size of a standard shopping bag per clear garbage bag (which could include used litter).The City encourages residents to bag any extra grocery bags and include them in your container recycling box and/or use reusable bags for doing your grocery shopping.
 12. What happens if I have made a choice not to use any kind of plastic bag and instead use dog food bags or chicken feed bags?
These bags, if filled no more than the size of a full grocery/shopping bag, can be used as your privacy bag. 

Recycling posters

What goes Where poster imageDownload our helpful handout titled "What goes where" to hang on your fridge, office wall or near your recycling bins!
The handout also includes a “year at a glance” page. This helpful handout includes all special collection days, such as leaf and yard or battery, and has a space at the top to write your household’s day of the week. This is handy to have on the fridge for those who have visitors or for short term rentals.




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