The City of Morden’s new Waste By-Law 25-2017 passed its third reading at city council on Dec. 18 and will go into effect in the new year.
The by-law aims to reduce the amount of waste entering the landfill by cracking down on offenders who don’t separate their recyclable and compostable materials into the proper bins.
City of Morden By-Law Officer Rick Paracholski said the by-law also serves as a proactive regulation against what the city feels will be coming next from the government.
“[The city] is getting ahead of it because they know it’s going to be regulated by the government,” he said. “They’re going to tighten up regulations, so we’re trying to keep ahead of the curve.”
During the city council meeting, mayor Ken Wiebe said that the city has already seen a 50 per cent decrease in waste going to landfill, and the city composted 800 metric tons of organic material.
The by-law will go into effect for single and two-family residences within the city on Jan. 1, 2018. Multi-residential complexes, food handling businesses and public facilities like parks will have to comply starting July 1, 2018.
Commercial businesses and construction and building sites will be next in Jan. of 2019, and all remaining sectors must comply with the new rules by July of 2019.
Another issue the by-law brings up is people putting their refuse in plastic bags or containers with open tops. The by-law also includes hazardous materials, which should not be disposed of through curbside collection. Those hazardous materials like paints, flammable liquids and pesticides should be disposed of at an authorized Household Hazardous Waste depot.
Paracholski said he has heard a few concerns from citizens wondering if he or someone from the city would be coming by to check garbage cans, but he said that won’t happen.
“It’s going to be the same as any other by-law,” Paracholski said. “[It’s] if the city receives a complaint. Let’s say the garbage company that’s picking up notices that someone isn’t putting the proper materials in the cans, they would notify the city and file a complaint.”
From there, Paracholski said he will visit the address and speak with them about the new by-law so they understand what is expected.
“That would probably be the end of it unless they keep doing it,” he said. “Then I would have no choice but to issue a fine.”
A fine of $150 could be received for placing items in a bin that does not have a properly closing lid, or for placing items into bins that they don’t belong to. That fine can rise to $450 for placing hazardous waste into bins that it doesn’t belong in.