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City of Ottawa believes it's seeing progress on green bin use, waste diversion

Much of the new market research regarding green bins was collected during the pandemic, so a new report will be expected at a later date.
2018-03-20-Green Bin-AB
Photo/ iStock

A report to the City of Ottawa's Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management says recent changes to the green bin program have helped shift resident behaviours to increase green bin use, diverting organic waste from the landfill and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The city moved to allow plastic bag liners and dog waste in green bins in July of 2019 to help make the green bin cleaner and more convenient to use, addressing the main barriers that residents identified in market research. City staff also launched a communications and outreach plan to promote the program.
The city says there was an 8 per cent increase in the number of households setting out a green bin in 2020, compared to 2018. 

In 2019, the city sent 5 per cent more organic and leaf and yard waste for processing than in 2018. In 2020 that number increased a further 6 per cent.
The city says it has also made it easier for residents in apartment buildings to use a green bin by introducing a new collection contract for multi-residential properties that removed the main barrier of having to bring bins to the curb. This led to a 37 per cent increase in the number of properties using green bins.
According to follow-up market research conducted in 2020, the yuck factor (concerns green bins are smelly, messy or gross) is no longer the top barrier to participation for respondents with curbside waste collection.
Because much of this information was collected during the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a significant shift in behaviour and waste trends, city staff are expected to follow up on these interim results with an update at least one year after the pandemic ends.

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