Ottawa Garbage Mess

Ottawa Garbage Mess
Posted on April 3, 2018 | Edward Farnworth | Written on April 3, 2018
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

The disposal of garbage is one of the few things that most people understand is the responsabilty ofthe City. The new changes to the Green Bin system are supposed to increase use of the Green Bin. The contract that the City signed with Orgaworld appears to the be the source of many problems.


The Green Bin was supposed to be for disposing of compostable waste – organic matter, kitchen wastes, yard waste and a list of other acceptable items such as kitty litter, soiled pizza boxes, waxed paper, etc. Items in the Green Bin were to be collected and then processed (composed) to the point where they could be used on farmers’ fields in Eastern Ontario. The city website used to emphasize that “plastic bags of any kind (even the compostable varieties aren’t allowed)” and dog feces were not to be put in the Green Bin.

Now it seems plastic bags and dog feces are going to be allowed in the Green Bin. And the reason? The “diversion rate” for household waste in Ottawa is an embarrassing 44%. So if we allow dog feces and plastic bags to be put in the Green Bin, more people will use the Green Bin. This may in fact be true, and will be easy to verify. We may all be surprised at how much dog feces ends up in Green Bins. Of course this will make the Orgawold’s processing of Green Bin material more complicated, and expensive, as they will have to remove the plastic that ends up in the Green Bin before they can carry out their composting process. The good news is that if including dog feces in the Green Bin does increase our diversion rate, we will be getting more for the money we presently give to Orgaworld. We are not sending Orgaworld the amount of garbage we committed to in our original contract, but we are still paying as if we were meeting our obligation.

It is very disappointing to see the use of plastic bags being encouraged. It is even more shocking to hear that the Mayor says this is one of the worst contracts the city of Ottawa has ever negotiated. Another case of garbage in garbage out?

About The Author

EdwardFarnworth's picture

Edward (Ted) Farnworth is a retired scientist who worked for the federal department of Agriculture. He enjoys writing, has a website Medicinal Food News that helps consumers understand the ever changing field of food... More