Ottawa is considering green bins in all apartments and condominiums

Tenants of apartment buildings, condominiums and other multi-unit buildings in the City of Ottawa may soon have a green bin for their organic waste.

City staff recommends that the City expand the organic waste recycling program to all multi-unit residential properties, with the goal of increasing waste diversion and extending the life of the Trail Road landfill.

As of December 1, 2021, 929 of the 2,150 properties currently served by the city’s garbage and recycling collections participated in the city’s Green Bin organic waste recycling program.

Residents living in multi-unit buildings generated 67,569 tonnes of waste in 2021. According to staff, 17% of waste collected from multi-unit buildings in Ottawa last year was diverted through recycling or garbage collection. organic materials.

A report from the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management recommends a new multi-residential waste diversion strategy, including mandating organic waste diversion at all multi-residential properties currently receiving a city waste collection service.

Under the proposal, any new multi-unit residential property receiving municipal waste collection services as of June 1, 2022 would be required to participate in the Green Bin program. Staff will report to the new council next year with a detailed implementation plan and cost analysis to introduce organic waste recycling to all city buildings.

“Recognizing the time, logistics and support required to initiate organics collection in more than 50% of the City’s multi-residential properties, this pillar of the project proposes to proactively introduce an organics collection service in all properties that are not currently participating,” staff said in the April 19 meeting report.

Staff say the City will work with property management to determine “the most reasonable approach” to implementing green bin in multi-unit buildings in a timely manner.

A survey of residents and the property management industry in February and March found that the main barriers to program participation included a lack of space to store garbage cans, pets and cleanliness, lack of access to green bins, ease of throwing items in the trash and a lack of knowledge. on how to sort waste. The survey found that 60 percent of residents said making it easier to dispose of organic waste would encourage participation in the Green Bin program.

Increasing green bin participation and diverting waste from the landfill is part of the strategy to extend the life of the Trail Road Landfill. The council learned last year that the landfill is more than 70% full and could run out of space between 2036 and 2038. A new landfill could cost more than $200 million.


The proposed multi-residential waste diversion strategy is based on five pillars.

  1. Expand organic diversion to all multi-unit residential properties
  2. Improve promotion and education to educate residents, encourage behavior change and increase participation in waste diversion programs
  3. Explorer pilots. Staff would explore and advance new management and diversion techniques in the multi-residential sector and address barriers and risks heard through engagement
  4. Dedicate and redevelop space for waste disposal programs. Staff say this includes recommending design requirements for new buildings to incorporate waste diversion programs
  5. Driving change through the collection contract. Staff say there are opportunities to improve multi-residential waste management through provisions included in the collection contract.

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