NO MORE BLACK BAGS
Victoria County passes new recycling bylaw
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.