In March 2017 the Region of Waterloo made some important changes to how waste would be managed. For several months before the community was consulted in many areas such as recycling, garbage pickup, leaf pick up and yard waste.
In some neighborhood of Waterloo, residents can rake their leaves to the curb and truck will come by to take them away – no bags needed! This usually only happens once in the late Fall, so keep an eye out for signs in the neighborhood or check the City website to find out when they will be in your area. If you miss it, just pick up some extra yard waste bags. Pick up days for bagged yard waste can be found here.
Blue bin pick up is every week. Neat fact: The first ever blue bin program started in 1983 in Kitchener! Put all of your recyclables in here. There is no need to sort, but if you want to show some love items can be sorted in multiple blue bins, which are available for pick up at the Region on special days. Right now we’re sorting into two boxes – one for containers (all materials) and one for paper and plastic products.
Our household is so happy with the green bin, we find a lot of waste is diverted this way. If you are new to the Region you can pick up a green bin welcome kit, full of extra bags, a counter top container and your brand new large green bin – everything you need to get started! Replacement green bins are also available for pick up, just bring your broken one to trade so it can be recycled.
Green bins are picked up weekly and you can put tons of stuff in there including pet waste, meat and bones, paper and cardboard. There are lots of helpful tips online, but our favorite is to keep egg cartons to layer with and put on the bottom. This really helps contain any mess!
With all of the ways to recycle, the Region has recently introduced garbage pickup every other week. So far our household has enjoyed the challenge and with a few small changes we’ve reduced our garbage to one container every other week. However, if that’s not possible there are some options such as purchasing tags for extra bags, bringing waste to the landfill or sharing a garbage bin with your neighbor that doesn’t fill theirs!
All of the collections days and numbers can be confusing, so be sure to download the My Waste app, available for any smartphone.
Finally, celebrate Earth Day every year with a trip to the landfill. You get a one hour guided bus tour and you’ll get to see how recycling is sorted, organics are turned into compost and all of the heavy machines. When we were there we got to meet the birds used to control the seagulls too. Then wow your friends because they probably don’t even know a landfill tour day exists! Call 519-575-4400 to book your spot.