Pandemic prompts changes to London garbage and special waste collection
City waives fee for additional bags at EnviroDepots, but closes access to landfill site
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought disruption to every part of our lives, and that includes how we get rid of our waste.
While household garbage and recycling collection continues, the city is asking everyone to separately bag all used tissues and napkins and place them in the garbage, not loose in the can.
In fact, anything that's been near your mouth, nose or eyes should be put into the garbage, even if you would normally recycle it.
"If you or someone in your household is feeling unwell, please place items that have been in contact with your mouth, nose or eyes into a bag and then into the garbage," said Jay Stanford, the city's director of environment, fleet and solid waste.
This includes items that would normally be placed in your blue box, such as plastic bottles, pop cans and milk or juice containers.
He says simple actions such as these will help protect collectors from the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Depot fee waived
Londoners who haul extra bags of garbage to the city's three EnviroDepots are getting a break.
City council has waived the fee of $1.50 per bag until May 4.
The fee, which is normally charged for bags exceeding the three container limit, will be waived at these centres:
- West EnviroDepot – 1450 Oxford Street West.
- East EnviroDepot – 28 Clarke Road.
- North EnviroDepot – 21462 Clarke Road (at Try Recycling Inc.).
Bag tags for extra garbage placed at the curb are available at the EnviroDepots. The city is encouraging people not to drop bags at depots if it can be avoided.
City closes household special waste depot to public
Public access to the depot located inside the W12A landfill site is closed until further notice.
Staffing reductions and safety considerations due to COVID-19 require the facility to be closed for the foreseeable future, Stanford said.
Residents are asked to continue to store household special waste—such as old gasoline, automotive products, and paints—safely at home. These items are not to be put in the garbage.
In it for the long haul
The city is also urging Londoners to hold on to large items, such as furniture and mattresses.
"This is the time of year where cleanups occur and you often look at that old piece of furniture or the old couch and you get a new one," said Stanford.
But rather than disposing of those items, store them and "give collectors a break."
"We're in this for the long haul. So anything you can do to keep [stuff] on your property a little longer will just be greatly appreciated."