Environment & Economy By Peter Tremblay 322 Views

Plastic bags in green bins OK in Ottawa as of today

The City of Ottawa is hoping today's shift to allowing plastic bags in compost will get more organic waste out of landfills.

Last year city councillors voted to allow people to put compost in plastic bags, such as grocery or bread bags, along with bagged dog feces.

Ottawa's organic waste diversion rate sits at just 40 per cent, and the city is hoping to boost it.

It's hoped that by letting residents wrap their organics in plastic bags, reducing the so-called "ick factor," more people will be encouraged to use the program.

It didn't pass unanimously, with some city councillors questioning why the city is promoting plastics at a time when many other jurisdictions are finding ways to reduce it — including Ottawa.

The city said residents can still use paper bags and newspaper to line smaller kitchen bins or cereal boxes, and are encouraged to keep doing so if it's working for them.

The change was made possible by rewriting the city's contract with Orgaworld to filter out plastics at its plant at an extra cost of $626,000 a year, which works out to 15 cents a month for the average taxpayer.