NO MORE BLACK BAGS

Vic­to­ria County passes new re­cy­cling by­law

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY JEREMY FRASER jeremy.fraser@cb­post.com

New solid waste by­law for Vic­to­ria County.

A new garbage by­law in Vic­to­ria County will soon have res­i­dents switch­ing from black bags to clear bags.

The Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Vic­to­ria County passed a new by­law on Mon­day, which will see res­i­dents no longer us­ing black bags for their house­hold waste

Jo­ce­lyn Bethune, com­mu­ni­ca­tions officer for the county’s pub­lic works, said the by­law comes into ef­fect on June 1, how­ever the mu­nic­i­pal­ity will not start tag­ging res­i­dents’ black bags at curb­side un­til the fall.

“The new by­law pro­vides more of a frame­work of how we were ac­tu­ally op­er­at­ing any­way,” said Bethune. “Peo­ple are al­ready us­ing clear bags.”

In Oc­to­ber 2014, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity began a clear bag pro­gram, which has been suc­cess­ful.

“It was im­ple­mented with a vol­un­tary phase and we’re still in that phase,” said Bethune. “We asked res­i­dents to vol­un­tar­ily switch to clear bags — in­side the clear bag they can put a pri­vacy bag, which is like a plas­tic shop­ping bag — those rules have been in place since 2014.”

Un­der the new by­law, house­holds can be fined up to $1,000 for not sep­a­rat­ing plas­tic and pa­per. Black bags will be re­jected.

“The penal­ties have not changed,” said Bethune. “In our old by­law in 2001, that was the penalty for not fol­low­ing the by­law.

“What I would say has changed is that we have a strong ed­u­ca­tional com­po­nent,” she said. “Be­fore any bag is re­jected, peo­ple will know that it’s go­ing to be re­jected. We have tags that we will leave be­hind be­fore we start re­ject­ing them.”

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity wants res­i­dents to sep­a­rate their curb­side items with garbage go­ing in clear bags, re­cy­clables in blue bags and com­post in green bags.

In Vic­to­ria County, there are trans­fer sta­tions in Baddeck and Dingwall and two re­cy­cling de­pots in Baddeck and New Haven. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s garbage is shipped to a sec­ond-gen­era-

tion land­fill in Guys­bor­ough County.

Bethune said the feed­back from res­i­dents since the clear bag pro­gram began has been pos­i­tive.

“Over the course of time you see an in­crease in re­cy­clables and an in­crease in com­posta­bles be­cause peo­ple are not putting those things in the garbage — that’s the whole rea­son we are switch­ing to clear bags,” she said. “We have def­i­nitely seen an in­crease since we brought in clear bags.”

Bethune un­der­stands there is con­fu­sion among res­i­dents about the new by­law.

“Each mu­nic­i­pal­ity around the province does sort­ing, re­cy­cling and waste man­age­ment dif­fer­ent, this is be­cause each mu­nic­i­pal­ity has a dif­fer­ent pop­u­la­tion, tax base and dif­fer­ent fa­cil­i­ties,” said Bethune. “A lot of peo­ple in Vic­to­ria County may live near the county line with CBRM, and CBRM does things dif­fer­ently than Vic­to­ria County — it’s im­por­tant you know which county you’re liv­ing in.”

Res­i­dents with ques­tions about the new by­law are asked to visit the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s web­site at www.vic­to­ri­a­county.com or phone 902-295-2117.

Bethune said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s pub­lic works de­part­ment has a Face­book page, which is up­dated daily. She en­cour­ages peo­ple to visit the page by search­ing Vic­to­ria County Pub­lic Works.

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