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Committee Approves Diverting Some Waste to Private Landfills in 2026 Garbage Collection Contract

The City’s Environment and Climate Change Committee today approved changes to curbside waste collection that would take effect in 2026 with the next collection contract, and received an overview of the plan to procure the contract. The proposed changes prioritize efficient, reliable service for residents and would help extend the life of the City’s landfill by diverting some waste to private landfills.

The City’s new curbside collection contract would start on March 30, 2026 and be in place for seven years, with the option to extend for up to two additional years. The contract would maintain many previous service levels, including consistent bi-weekly garbage (including bulky items), weekly organics, and bi-weekly special considerations collection service across Ottawa,

The new contract would include some service changes. Residents would need to set out leaf and yard waste separate from the Green Bin, but on the same day. The collection schedule would change from five days a week to four (Monday to Thursday) to make routes more efficient. The City would inform all affected residents before changes take effect.

The City would also divert up to 60,000 tonnes of garbage per year from the Trail Waste Facility landfill by using private landfills in the east and west ends. This is approximately one third of residential garbage collected each year in Ottawa. Diverting this waste will extend the life of the City’s landfill by at least two years, saving the City about $6 million in asset value each year while also reducing trucking distance, fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

The City would make permanent the currently contracted 85 staff that work in the In-House Collections Group. This would retain an experienced team to serve the downtown core, while allowing flexibility for other work, such as emergency clean-up operations and piloting new technologies.

The five existing collection zones would be consolidated into three larger zones to improve efficiency, reduce the impact of increasing costs and ensure daily service levels are met. The In-House team would continue to serve the downtown core, while service for the other two newly re-aligned zones would be procured through a request for proposals.

The Committee also received the results of the annual review of the City’s drinking water quality management system and endorsed the current operational plan, as required under Ontario’s Safe Drinking Water Act. The 2022 review found that the system in place has been successful and effective. In the annual external audit, the quality management system received a score of 100 per cent for the eleventh straight year. The City’s drinking water systems received scores of 100 per cent from provincial inspections and our water quality scored 100 per cent measured against all guidelines and regulatory limits. The review also noted that staff consistently responded effectively to all incidents, ensuring the continuous safety of Ottawa’s drinking water.

Items considered at this meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, September 27.

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