Ottawa

Residents raise stink over plastic bags in green bins

Starting Tuesday, Ottawans may legally chuck plastic bags into their green bins along with organic waste. But some city councillors are pleading with them not to.

Ottawa's updated organics policy goes into effect Tuesday

Ottawa's organic waste diversion rate sits at just 40 per cent, and the city is hoping to boost it. (Alistair Steele/CBC)

Starting Tuesday, Ottawans may legally chuck plastic bags into their green bins along with their organic waste. But some city councillors are pleading with them not to.

City council voted last year to begin accepting plastic bags in green bins, part of an effort to encourage more residents to participate in the organics program.

The city believes that if residents are allowed to use plastic bags to collect kitchen waste, they'll be more inclined to use their green bins. At the same time, the city reworked its contract with Orgaworld to begin filtering out the plastics at its Hawthorne Road composting plant.

Dog feces in plastic bags will be allowed, too.

But not everyone's in favour. Coun. Jeff Leiper, who voted against the new policy, took to Twitter on Tuesday to voice his displeasure, and he wasn't alone.

Reaction was similar on Facebook. "No plastic bags in my green bin. I've never needed them, so I won't start now," Susan Lorden wrote on CBC's page.

"The environment is far more important than people worrying about some smell or 'icky' compost!" wrote Tracy Kwissa.

A few residents questioned the timing, noting council recently took steps toward eliminating the sale of plastic bottled water at city facilities.

"[Weren't] we supposed to be trying to [get] rid of plastic use last month?" Dan Facette wrote.

A few welcomed the change.

"We will continue to use our green bin. This will just make it a little easier," wrote Mike Perrault.

One Twitter user agreed with the rationale behind the change.

Some people used the opportunity to share suggestions for avoiding plastic bags.

Krissy Sarris and Susan Smith had the same cool idea about storing compost in the freezer until pickup day.

"I learnt after our first [infestation] of maggots that if I put meats, etc in the freezer until garbage day, then I don't have a problem," Smith wrote.

"Store smaller bin in freezer with paper bag. Then transfer to green bin," Sarris agreed.

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