Expansion of green bin collection in Oshawa and Durham in 2024 called “big step” for environment

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Published June 28, 2023 at 1:30 pm

Expanding the products processed through Durham Region’s green bin program to include diapers and cat litter was called a “big step” for the environment at Oshawa Council Monday, with adding apartment buildings to the program also proposed by the Region.

The City of Oshawa is responsible for providing residential curbside collection of garbage and organics including green bins and yard waste, though it contracts out the service. The Region handles the processing and takes care of both collection and processing for blue box materials.

The scope of materials collected in green bins has not been significantly altered since the program was first implemented in 2006. Recent policy directives at the provincial level calling for municipalities to reduce food and organic waste by both single-family dwellings (70 per cent by 2023) and multi-residential dwellings (50 per cent by 2025) has prompted the changes.

“This is probably the most exciting change in our green bin program in decades,” said Oshawa Councillor Brian Nicholson, who thanked the Region for being “responsive” to the need to reduce waste in the community. “This is a big step for the environment and for our residents.”

To achieve the new provincial targets Durham Region will be collecting several items (as of July 1, 2024) previously not acceptable in the organics collection program including:

  • Personal hygiene wastes (including diapers, personal sanitary products and adult incontinence products)
  • Compostable packaging and products
  • Pet wastes and litter

Durham Region is also recommended reducing the number of garbage bags per household from four to three as a result of increased diversion to the green bins, but Oshawa has not yet said if they will be following through on that change.

City staff will work with the Region of Durham’s Waste Management Division on the coordination of the enhanced green bin program and will review the roles and responsibilities of waste and green bin collection services as it relates to multi-residential buildings.

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