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Black garbage bags will be phased out in parts of western Newfoundland in July

Carey
Carey - Chris Quigley

While it may be an adjustment for some, Josh Carey is confident people will buy into the new way trash will soon be collected at the curbside in parts of western Newfoundland.

Starting in July, residents serviced by the new Wild Cove and Bay St. George transfer stations slated to be opened by then will no longer be permitted to use black bags for their regular garbage as Western Regional Waste Management begins implementing its Sort-It Western service.

At that point, all regular garbage must be placed in clear plastic garbage bags, while all recyclable materials will continue to be placed in blue bags.

This is currently how solid waste is collected at the curb in parts of central and eastern Newfoundland.

The main impetus for the change is to ensure western Newfoundland is compliant with the province’s waste management strategy, which has set a 50 per cent waste diversion rate and an 80 per cent reduction rate in the number of waste disposal sites.

The new two-stream service is expected to increase the diversion of recyclables and prevent hazardous materials from going into landfills.

Clear bags will also improve the safety of garbage collectors by enabling them to see contents in the bag, such as broken glass, needles and other items that can cause injuries.

Carey, who is chair of the Western Regional Service Board, said enforcement of the clear bag service will be left to each municipality, but said this is not about coming down hard on offenders.

“There will be a one-month grace period,” said Carey. “After that, we will expect full compliance with the program.”

It should not take long for people to understand how the system will work, he said. Once it is in full swing, anyone who leaves a black bag at the curb, or who leaves recyclable material in a clear bag, will find their trash won’t be collected.

Carey said there will be an expansion of the sorts of recyclable materials that will be accepted in blue bags.

The board is working with retailers throughout the region to ensure sufficient supplies of clear and blue bags will be on store shelves in time for the launch.

Carey said the advance notice of the service starting in July should give people lots of notice to use up their dark garbage bags and start using clear bags.

To accommodate privacy needs, people will be allowed to use small, non-transparent bags, referred to as privacy bags, to put into their clear bags. Grocery and kitchen catcher bags are commonly used as privacy bags.

As part of the roll-out strategy, residents will be mailed a clear and blue bag sample pack with a coupon and there will be a public education campaign launched.

Update on Transfer Stations

A key component of the Sort-It Western service are the six transfer stations that are being built in western Newfoundland. A transfer station is a building that allows for the temporary storage, sorting and compaction of garbage so it can be transported in the most cost-effective and environmentally-sound way. When garbage and recycling is brought to the transfer stations, it eliminates the dumping of garbage in open landfills.

The Wild Cove and Bay St. George transfer stations are anticipated to be operational in July. Transfer stations in Burgeo, Hampden, Port aux Basques and Rocky Harbour are expected to be operational in the following months.

Information about the Sort-It Western service will be made available to the public as details of the service are confirmed. A new website is being built and information will also be available through social media, radio, print and television.

Western Regional Waste Management will be working with the industrial, commercial and institutional sector to implement compliance guidelines for the new Sort-It Western service.

https://www.wrwm.ca

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