Gatineau approves new rules around garbage pickup, apartment composting

The City of Gatineau is going ahead with changes to waste collection this summer with the goal of keeping compost and recyclable materials out of its dump.

New 120L limit on how much garbage can be picked up for free starting this summer

Starting July 15, Gatineau households will be allowed throw out 120 litres of garbage every two weeks — one of the city's new rules designed to divert compostable and recyclable materials from its dump. (Lynne Robson/CBC)

The City of Gatineau is going ahead with changes to waste collection this summer with the goal of keeping compost and recyclable materials out of its dump.

City council approved the new rules Tuesday night, making mandatory what has been optional since 2016.

As of July 15, each household will be able to throw out 120 litres of garbage every two weeks, with a unspecified fee possible for anything over that. 

Right now, there's no limit.

Households will also get a new 120-litre bin by that date.

Apartment composting

Under the new rules, people living in apartment buildings will be expected to compost — and if they don't and are caught, they could face a currently unspecified fine.

At the moment, the city doesn't offer composting services for apartment dwellers.

The city will also set up an on-call system to collect heavy waste such as furniture and construction debris. It will set aside four days a year when people will be allowed to put these large items at the curb.

Chantal Marcotte, director of the city's environment department, said Tuesday there will be a transition period to let residents get used to the new rules.

The city said about half of what goes into its landfills is recyclable or compostable — and about 17,000 tonnes of compost ends up at the dump every year.

The province is requiring Gatineau reduce the amount of waste that goes to its dump by 45 per cent of its 2016 volume by 2020.