Solid Waste Master Plan

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The City is developing a new Solid Waste Master Plan, to be completed in early 2024. The plan will guide how we manage solid waste over the next 30 years. As Ottawa grows and changes, we want to ensure our waste services evolve to meet new needs and challenges. This page will be your hub for updates and opportunities to provide feedback.

Managing solid waste is a shared responsibility, and every resident has a part to play. That’s why, we need meaningful conversations with you to help ensure the new Solid Waste Master Plan works for everyone.

If you require assistance or are experiencing technical problems with this page, please contact us at wasteplan@ottawa.ca.

The City is developing a new Solid Waste Master Plan, to be completed in early 2024. The plan will guide how we manage solid waste over the next 30 years. As Ottawa grows and changes, we want to ensure our waste services evolve to meet new needs and challenges. This page will be your hub for updates and opportunities to provide feedback.

Managing solid waste is a shared responsibility, and every resident has a part to play. That’s why, we need meaningful conversations with you to help ensure the new Solid Waste Master Plan works for everyone.

If you require assistance or are experiencing technical problems with this page, please contact us at wasteplan@ottawa.ca.

  • Solid Waste Master Plan now posted

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    Today, staff held a technical briefing to share an overview of the Solid Waste Master Plan with Council ahead of the report going to the Environment and Climate Change Committee on June 18, 2024 and Council on June 26, 2024.

    The report is now available to the public, and the links to view the report and its support documents are posted below:

    Solid Waste Master Plan (EN)

    Solid Waste Master Plan (FR)

    Solid Waste Master Plan - Legislative Report (EN)

    Solid Waste Master Plan - Legislative Report (FR)

    Solid Waste Master Plan Long Range Financial Plan Legislative Report

    Document 1: Solid Waste Master Plan Executive Summary – (EN)

    Document 1: Solid Waste Master Plan Executive Summary – (FR)

    Document 2: What We Learned Report (Engagement Series 3 Feedback) (EN)

    Document 2: What We Learned Report (Engagement Series 3 Feedback) (FR)

    Document 3: Solid Waste Master Plan Action Descriptions (EN)

    Document 3: Solid Waste Master Plan Action Descriptions (FR)

    Document 4: Summary of Solid Waste Master Plan Financial Analyses (EN)

    Document 4: Summary of Solid Waste Master Plan Financial Analyses (FR)

    Document 5: Summary of Solid Waste Master Plan Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analyses (EN)

    Document 5: Summary of Solid Waste Master Plan Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analyses (FR)


    We would like to take this opportunity to thank residents, stakeholders and members of Council for your ongoing engagement throughout the development of this plan and look forward to continuing our discussions in advance of Council.

  • Three-item limit coming for curbside waste collection

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    Starting Monday, September 30, the City will be implementing a three-item garbage limit for residents who receive curbside waste collection. This limit includes residents whose waste is collected in one shared location – often called a common pad – and those living on agricultural properties.

    Ottawa has had a six-item garbage limit in place since 2007. This limit has been far more generous than many municipalities, including neighbouring communities around our city. The new limit helps us extend the life of our Trail Road Waste Facility Landfill as we explore new options for waste disposal.

    What is considered an item in this new three-item garbage limit?

    An item includes the following:

    • a plastic waste bag
    • a bin with a maximum capacity of up to 140 litres. Households can put several waste bags in a bin as long as the weight is less than 33 pounds (15 kilos) per bin.
    • Furniture or bulky item that can’t be re-used or donated


    Examples of acceptable three-item combinations include:

    • one 140-litre bin, a plastic waste bag and a broken chair
    • three 140-litre bins
    • three plastic waste bags
    • two 140 litre bins and one broken vacuum

    Leaf and yard waste stored in paper leaf and yard waste bags do not count towards the limit. There will continue to be no limit to how much residents can set out through green, blue and black bins.

    Yellow bags for excess waste

    If your waste habits are anything like most Ottawa residents, you likely won’t experience any impacts on regular collection days. For those who need to go above the three-item limit, yellow bags can be purchased at participating retailers, including Home Hardware stores and Building Centres later this year, for $17.60 for a package of four. There is no limit to the number of yellow bags that are set out for collection.


    Agricultural properties and other special considerations

    The new three-item garbage limit will still apply to agricultural properties with residential homes who receive curbside collection. Residents will have opportunities to set out unavoidable farm waste without needing a yellow bag from Tuesday, April 1 to Saturday, May 31. This exemption is only available for agricultural properties already participating in all waste diversion programs, such as the blue, black and weekly green bin programs.

    Other special considerations are available for residents who need to dispose of special items, such as home healthcare waste and diapers. You can visit the Garbage and Recycling webpage for more information on how to register for this program and where you can purchase yellow bags.


    Tips for waste reduction

    More than half of waste set out on garbage day can be recycled, composted or even reused. Outside of the City’s recycling and composting programs, there are a variety of programs and community groups that can give many of your unwanted items a second life.

    • An unwanted item in your home might be high on your neighbour’s wish list. Many neighbourhoods have Buy Nothing groups, where members can post items to give, free of charge, to those who want them. Be sure to check Facebook or other local forums to see if there is one active in your community.
    • Have an item you want to get rid of, but are unsure where it can be safely disposed? Check out the Waste Explorer. It can direct you to which bin an item goes in, or if it should be taken to a retailer running a Take It Back! program. You can visit the Waste Explorer online, or via the Ottawa Collection Calendar mobile app available for both Apple and Android devices.
    • The City also hosts several events throughout the year where you can dispose of specialty waste, such as electronics or hazardous waste or even get an item repaired. Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Waste events can be found by visiting the City’s Hazardous waste and special items webpage. The City has also sponsored several Repair Café events throughout the year. At these events, you can get an item assessed and repaired where possible by a volunteer from Ottawa Tool Library.


    For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook(link is external), Twitter (formerly X) and Instagram.

  • Committee receives plan to roll out three-item garbage limit in the fall

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    The Environment and Climate Change Committee today received an overview of the City’s plan to implement the Council-approved Curbside Waste Diversion Policy, which comes into effect on Monday, September 30.

    The new policy, which allows households receiving curbside collection to set out three garbage items every two weeks, is one of several City initiatives to reduce the amount of unnecessary waste sent to the Trail Waste Facility Landfill and to reduce the climate impact of managing waste. More than half of what currently goes to the landfill could go in the green, blue or black bin, and if more waste is not diverted the landfill is expected to reach capacity within the next decade.

    To guide residents through the change, the City will roll out a communications and outreach plan over the next several months, including tools and tips to help people divert more waste. Once the limit is in place there will be a two-month transition period to help residents adjust, focusing on education first and gradually moving to not collecting garbage over the limit in December.

    In addition, the City will offer flexible options to help residents deal with unavoidable extra garbage. Residents will be able to purchase yellow bags that would not be counted against the three-item limit as a way to set out garbage over the limit on occasion. These bags are sold at locations throughout the city, including Client Service Centres and select Home Hardwares. The Special Considerations program offers collection of diapers, incontinence products, and home healthcare waste on off weeks. Agricultural properties with residential households who receive curbside collection will have a seasonal exemption period during which they can set out unlimited unavoidable farm waste.

    The City has additional resources in place to manage the anticipated temporary increase in illegal dumping. Inspectors will monitor parks and public spaces and address illegal dumping on private properties. Residents can report illegal dumping online or by calling 3-1-1.

    The Committee also received an update on the implementation of the Multi-Residential Waste Diversion Strategy, which requires multi-residential properties to participate in the Green Bin program in order to receive waste collection services from the City. Multi-residential buildings account for 17 per cent of residential waste collected by the City. Of the multi-residential waste sent to landfill, about 58 per cent could have been recycled or put in the green bin. Providing these properties with the opportunity to divert organic waste helps the City reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while in turn prolonging the life of the Trail Waste Facility Landfill.

    The City currently collects waste from approximately 2,300 multi-residential properties, of which about 52 per cent have a Green Bin program. From Q3 2024 to the end of 2028 the City will onboard the remaining properties through a mandatory process. The City will support residents with dedicated education and outreach to help them use a green bin, and work with property managers to address challenges and successfully introduce the program at their properties.

    The total cost for onboarding all remaining properties is approximately $5.6 million over the next four years. This report also provided an update on the 2026 multi-residential collection contract, which includes new provisions to improve efficiency and to align with the City’s waste diversion initiatives.

    Items considered at this meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, May 29.

    For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook, X (Twitter) and Instagram.

  • Engagement Series 3 of the Solid Waste Master Plan is now complete

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    The City of Ottawa would like to thank all residents and stakeholders who engaged with us by participating in Engagement Series 3 of the Solid Waste Master Plan.

    We heard directly from hundreds of engaged residents at the in-person open houses, virtual information sessions, stakeholder and focus groups. We received hundreds of surveys, completed in multiple languages.

    What's next? All feedback received has been tremendously valuable and will be used to assist in the development of the final Waste Plan, which will be presented to Committee and Council for approval this June.

    A “What We Learned Report” will also be posted, outlining the results from this round of engagement.

    To stay up to date and receive information related to the Solid Waste Master Plan subscribe to the Solid Waste Master Plan eNewsletter by clicking this link: https://forms.ottawa.ca/en/form/esubscriptions/signup-form

  • Engagement Series 3: Public Open-House and Information Sessions 

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    Engagement Series 3: Public Open-Houses and Virtual Information Sessions

    Join us at a public open-house or virtual information session to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback on the Draft Waste Plan.  Registration links to sign up for the virtual sessions can be found below. All sessions will be facilitated in English. 

    The sessions will include opportunities for residents to ask questions about the draft Waste Plan and learn how earlier feedback from the public helped to shape the plan. 

    The Draft Waste Plan Executive Summary provides a condensed overview of the plan's main points. It includes information on why and how the Waste Plan was developed, the recommended Actions in the plan and the potential impacts of those Actions.

    For a short description of each of the 50 Waste Plan actions please visit Solid Waste Master Plan 50 Actions Summary

    Take the survey to have your say on the Draft Waste Plan! Your feedback will help inform Council’s decision on the final Waste Plan.

    Engagement Series 3 Survey: English

    Engagement Series 3 Survey: French

    Engagement Series 3 Survey: Spanish

    Engagement Series 3 Survey: Arabic

    Engagement Series 3 Survey: Simplified Chinese

    If a resident does not have access to the internet to complete the survey, or would like additional support filling out the survey, contact the Waste Plan team by phone 613-580-2400 at extension 25550.

    Information session discussions will be on the Waste Plan’s five areas of focus: 

    • Reduction and reuse of waste

    • Recycling

    • Waste and energy recovery, and the management of waste that remains after recyclable waste has been separated. 

    • Operational advancements 

    • Fostering a zero-waste culture across the city


    Engagement Series 3: Virtual Information Sessions


    Name of Session

    Date, Time, Location

    Session Description

    Registration Link


    Draft Waste Plan: Virtual Information Session


    Thursday, February 29 
    6:30 pm to 8:30 pm 
    Virtual: ZOOM 


    This virtual information session will allow participants to learn about the Draft Waste Plan and how feedback was included from the previous engagement series. The session will also feature a Q&A period and a chance to share feedback on the Draft Waste Plan.

    Session has now closed.



      


    Draft Waste Plan: Virtual Information Session 


    Wednesday, March 6 
    6:30 pm to 8:30 pm   
    Virtual: ZOOM 


    This virtual information session will allow participants to learn about the Draft Waste Plan and how feedback was included from the previous engagement series. The session will also feature a Q&A period and a chance to share feedback on the Draft Waste Plan.

    Session has now closed.



    Should a resident require any accommodation to fully participate in a virtual information session, please e-mail wasteplan@ottawa.ca
    or by telephone 613-580-2400 at extension 25550.

    Engagement Series 3: In-person Open-House Sessions

    Name of Session

    Date, Time, Location

    Session Description

    Registration Information


    Draft Waste Plan: Open-House


    Thursday, February 15: Open-House Nepean Sportsplex: Richmond Ballroom
    7 pm to 9 pm 


    This drop-in session will allow participants to learn about the Draft Waste Plan and how feedback was included from the previous engagement series. The session also offers the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the Waste Plan team.


    Drop-in event, pre-registration is not required.


    Draft Waste Plan: Open-House

      


    Friday, February 23: Open-House Cardel Recreation Complex: Main Hall
    7 pm to 9pm 


    This drop-in session will allow participants to learn about the Draft Waste Plan and how feedback was included from the previous engagement series. The session also offers the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the Waste Plan team.


    Drop-in event, pre-registration is not required


    Draft Waste Plan: Open-House


    Monday, February 26: Open-House Tom Brown Arena: 7 pm to 9 pm 

    This drop-in session will allow participants to learn about the Draft Waste Plan and how feedback was included from the previous engagement series. The session also offers the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the Waste Plan team.

    Drop-in event, pre-registration is not required.

    Draft Waste Plan: Open-House

    Monday, March 4: Open-House Ray Friel Recreation Complex: -Rendez-Vous (Hall D)
    6:30 pm to 8:30 pm 

    This drop-in session will allow participants to learn about the Draft Waste Plan and how feedback was included from the previous engagement series. The session also offers the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the Waste Plan team.

    Drop-in event, pre-registration is not required

      

    Equity and inclusivity focus groups: 

    Are you a young person, older adult, racialized resident, a new immigrant, person living with disabilities, or a member of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community? The City of Ottawa is organizing virtual focus groups to discuss the Draft Solid Waste Master Plan.  

    The structure of the virtual focus group will be a presentation on the Draft Waste Plan, a period for feedback, questions and answers, followed by a small discussion on how the Draft Waste Plan directly impacts the community.  

    If you are a member of this community and would like to attend a virtual focus group or receive information in another language, please contact wasteplan@ottawa.ca  


    REMINDER!

    Take the survey to have your say on the Draft Waste Plan! Your feedback will help inform Council’s decision on the final Waste Plan.


    Engagement Series 3 Survey: English

    Engagement Series 3 Survey: French

    Engagement Series 3 Survey: Spanish

    Engagement Series 3 Survey: Arabic

    Engagement Series 3 Survey: Simplified Chinese


    If a resident does not have access to the internet to complete the survey, contact the Waste Plan team by phone 613-580-2400 at extension 25550.


  • Council received the Draft Solid Waste Master Plan (SWMP) and approved the 2024 Solid Waste Services budget

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    On December 6th, Council received the Draft Solid Waste Master Plan (SWMP) and approved the 2024 Solid Waste Services budget. The budget includes items to support the ongoing implementation of the Curbside Diversion Policy and the Multi-residential Diversion Strategy, two component projects of the SWMP that were advanced early to increase the diversion rate of household organics and recyclables.

    The next step in the SWMP process is Engagement Series 3 which will be held virtually and in-person in Q1 2024.

    Council also approved the recommendations to initiate the Environmental Assessment process for the Trail Waste Facility Landfill (TWFL) expansion and provided direction to begin the feasibility study for Waste-to-Energy Incineration and Mixed Waste Processing.

    The expansion of the landfill (within its current footprint) will extend the life of this asset while providing time for the recommended SWMP reduction and diversion actions to reduce waste going to landfill, which will extend the life of the facility even further providing time for City Council to make a decision and implement the City’s next solution.

    The Waste-to-Energy and Mixed Waste Processing feasibility study will examine the differing opportunities and pros and cons of each technology compared to traditional landfilling. The study will examine the technologies in the Ottawa context and analyze their social, environmental and financial implications. The results of the feasibility study and business case will be used to help choose the most sustainable, long-term residual garbage management option for the City.

  • Update on the SWMP: Committee approves investments in climate priorities and waste diversion

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    November 21, 2023

    The City’s Environment and Climate Change Committee approved its portion of Draft Budget 2024, including investments that support a green and resilient city by preparing for more extreme weather, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting greenspace, trees and waterways. This budget also invests in core services that residents rely on every day, such as water services and waste collection.

    The Committee received the Draft Solid Waste Master Plan, which sets out proposed actions to sustainably manage waste over the next 30 years and extend the life of the Trail Road landfill by approximately 14 years. These actions include:

    • Reducing waste, reusing and recycling
    • Diverting 30 per cent of waste to private landfills
    • Expanding the landfill within its existing footprint
    • Banning industrial and commercial waste from the landfill

    The City would also explore long-term solutions, such as anaerobic digestion for organic waste, waste-to-energy incineration to reduce waste going to the landfill, and mixed waste processing to mechanically separate divertible materials from collected garbage. Following this report, the City will begin a third round of public engagement to support the development of the final waste plan, to be brought to Council in Q2 2024.

    To help extend the life of the City’s landfill, the Committee approved beginning the environmental assessment process required by the Province to permit the expansion of the landfill within existing property boundaries. Between the approval process and construction, this process can take anywhere from 10 to 15 years. Beginning as soon as possible would ensure waste can be managed without interruption for Ottawa residents and give the City more time to plan its next waste disposal solution.

    The City would continue to invest in sustainable waste management, including:

    • $4.5 million to continue developing and implementing the Solid Waste Master Plan and related projects
    • $28 million to support operations and improvements at the Trail Waste Facility landfill, including expanding its gas collection system

    Items approved at this meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, December 6.

  • Draft Solid Waste Master Plan report now posted

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    Today, staff held a technical briefing to share an overview of the Draft Solid Waste Master Plan with Council ahead of the report going to the Environment and Climate Change Committee on November 21, 2023 and Council on December 6, 2023.

    The report is now available to the public, and the links to view the report and its support documents are posted below:

    We would like to take this opportunity to thank residents, stakeholders and members of Council for your ongoing engagement throughout the development of this plan and look forward to continuing our discussions in advance of tabling the Final Solid Waste Master Plan in 2024!

  • Environmental Assessment Process for the Expansion of the Trail Waste Facility Landfill report now posted

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    As noted during the technical briefing on the Draft Solid Waste Master Plan today, staff will be tabling a report alongside the Draft Solid Waste Master Plan to seek Council’s direction to initiate the development of the Terms of Reference for the environmental assessment process to expand the capacity of the Trail Waste Facility Landfill (TWFL) within its existing boundaries. This would kick off the Environmental Assessment which is needed in order to expand and if approved would provide the City with additional runway to implement the strategies outlined in the Solid Waste Master Plan.

    The report is now available to the public, and the links to view the report and its support documents are posted below:

  • Key Dates for the Solid Waste Master Plan

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    We are excited to share that we are approaching an exciting milestone for the development of the Solid Waste Master Plan! The key legislative dates for the tabling of the Draft Solid Waste Master Plan (SWMP) for Council’s information.

    The dates are as follows:

    You are all welcome to tune in to watch or listen to meetings in progress or access the video or audio of past meetings on YouTube or access them on the agendas and minutes web portal.

    A quick note that while the Technical Briefing will be live streamed for public access, questions are reserved for member of Councillors and the media only. Should you wish to speak at Committee, you must sign up as a delegation For more information on attending and/or being a delegation at the Committee meeting on November 21, please visit: https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/council-committees-and-boards/get-involved-local-government#


    Next steps to finalize the Solid Waste Master Plan

    Your engagement and feedback has been instrumental in developing the draft Waste Plan, and seeking your feedback is not complete. Following Council’s receipt of Draft SWMP, staff will embark on the third and final round of engagement for the Solid Waste Master Plan’s development – Engagement Series 3. This engagement series will focus on informing stakeholders and the public of what the Draft SWMP entails, how stakeholder feedback from Engagement Series 1 and 2 has been integrated into the SWMP’s development so far and will provide an opportunity for residents and stakeholders to ask questions of staff and provide comments and feedback on the Draft SWMP before the tabling of the Final Solid Waste Master Plan in Q2 2024.

    Engagement Series 3 will begin with a stakeholder sounding board meeting following Council’s receipt of the Draft Solid Waste Master Plan and public engagement will then begin mid-January and into February. A series of in-person public open houses across the city as well as virtual sessions will take place. Staff will also meet individually with all members of Council to seek their feedback on behalf of their residents and the input will be considered in the Final SWMP.

Page last updated: 07 Jun 2024, 01:40 PM