Ottawa – The City of Ottawa’s Green Bin Program could expand under a revised contract with Orgaworld Canada Ltd., according to a report that the Environment and Climate Protection Committee will consider on Monday, March 26.

Starting in mid-2019, plastic bags and dog waste could be included in green bins for weekly pick up, eliminating the need for special liner bags and reducing odour and pest concerns. This expanded service, would cost the City an additional $626,000 per year, working out to 15 cents a month for the average household.

“An improved, more convenient waste-collection service, and better value for money, are significant benefits of the proposed revised contract with Orgaworld,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I am pleased that the City is recommending in this report an improved approach to organics diversion, making it easier for residents to keep this material out of our landfills and ending an ongoing legal conflict with our contractor.”

“Diverting organic waste from landfill sites is one of the most important things the City can do reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while also extending the life of our landfill, one of the City’s most significant assets,” said Councillor David Chernushenko, Chair of the Environment and Climate Protection Committee. “An expanded program, capable of handling plastic bags and all dog waste, will make it easier for residents to use the green bin, especially residents in multi-unit residential buildings.”

To address potential odour issues from accepting plastic bags, Orgaworld would invest $3.9 million to upgrade the plant for enhanced service and to improve odour control, and submit a mitigation plan to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the City. The City would also hire a third-party independent consultant to review the plan.

The Green Bin Program has diverted more than 533,000 tonnes of organic waste since 2010, and put it to use as compost and other beneficial products. Under the revised contract, Orgaworld would continue to provide 2,000 tonnes of AA compost each year. The product derived from the organic waste could also be used in fertilizers and soil enhancers.

The revised contract would end current arbitrations, avoiding  costly litigation.

The remaining 12 years of the contract would provide better value to the City, thanks to proposed amendments:

  • Reducing the processing rate for plastics and dog waste from $151 to $124 per tonne
  • Lowering the minimum tonnage of organics that the City must provide to Orgaworld from 80,000 to 75,000 tonnes per year, saving $2.7 million in unnecessary costs until 2022
  • Increasing flexibility during peak seasons of leaf and yard waste by converting the daily limit of 540 tonnes to a weekly limit of 2,700 tonnes

The revised contract would divert more waste, helping to extend the life of the Trail Road landfill and meet new provincial diversion targets. Staff will update Council on new provincial legislation for municipal waste diversion later this year.

Following the Committee’s meeting on March 26, the City will hold a media availability about the revised contract.

City Council will consider the report at its meeting on Wednesday, March 28.