Niagara Region has launched a new waste management app, called Niagara Region Waste, which makes it even easier for residents to obtain current information about waste and recycling collection programs.
Residents can download the mobile app for Apple or Android smartphones. In the mobile app, you will find the garbage/recycling collection schedule specific to your house address, with the ability to sign up and receive a collection day reminder. As part of signing up for a reminder, you will also receive updates in case of collection changes or delays.
The app also features a ‘Where Does it Go?’ search tool, which can tell you if your recyclables and waste go in the Green Bin, Blue or Grey Box, garbage or if it goes somewhere else like a Household Hazardous Waste Depot.
Those without an Apple or Android smartphone can visit Waste Management online and search their home address in the ‘Find Your Collection Day’ tool. Residents can then:
- Sign up for a waste collection reminder by email or phone call
- Download your collection schedule into your iCal, Google calendar or Microsoft Outlook calendar
- Print your collection schedule
- Review the “Where Does It Go?” search tool
“It’s now even easier to learn about solid waste management in our community with our improved mobile app, Niagara Region Waste, and online tools. Sign up for collection day reminders so you know when to put out your garbage, recycling, and organics!” says Jennifer Mazurek, Waste Management Program Manager, Policy, Planning & Engagement. “The app provides residents with all the information they need to know about their curbside waste collection at the touch of a button.”
Niagara Region partnered with ReCollect to develop the app. ReCollect is a Canadian technology company, which combines deep expertise in solid waste and recycling with technology that works for government and business organizations. Their team is composed of leaders in public policy, recycling and solid waste communications, behavior change and technology.
Staff unveiled the new mobile app, Niagara Region Waste, at the Public Works Committee meeting on Sept. 8. The introduction of the app was part of an update on the status of the Box it. Bin it. Sort it. campaign to raise awareness of waste collection changes starting Oct. 19, 2020 when Niagara Region moves to every-other-week garbage collection.
Box It. Bin It. Sort It campaign reaching Niagara residents
The campaign, which began its roll out in June, is already seeing a keen response in residents’ awareness. There is an increase in numbers of calls to the Region’s Waste Info-Line and visits to the newly created campaign pages on the Region’s website from residents/businesses looking for additional information on the changes and an uptake in the Green Bin diversion program.
Residents and businesses received a direct mail piece outlining the upcoming changes earlier this summer. The major change is garbage collection will move to every-other-week starting Oct. 19, 2020, with Green Bin, Blue and Grey Box continuing to be picked up every week. Campaign messaging is being delivered through social media posts, advertisements, informational booths at farmer’s markets and banner displays across Niagara.
As the campaign continues its roll out, there has been an increase in calls about the collection changes to Niagara Region’s Waste Info-Line. There were 56 calls regarding the changes in July, compared to zero in the two previous months. In particular, there has been an increased interest in exemptions for diapers and waste related to medical conditions. While there are typically fewer than 40 exemption applications per month, there were 1,285 exemption applications received between July 6 and Aug. 31.
Green Bin distribution data also suggests that residents are beginning to prepare for the start of every-other-week garbage collection in October. From June to the end of August, 3,331 Green Bins were delivered to the Region’s participating distribution sites. This is a 111 percent increase in Green Bin distribution compared to the same period in 2019.
But the campaign isn’t over yet. Many more changes will be visible on the streets and around the Region over the next few weeks, including new magnets on Waste Management fleet vehicles, billboards, bus ads, social media, animated videos as well as hosted video segments, radio spots, and direct mail pieces. Residents will also receive a Collection Guide in the mail which will include a collection calendar, information on programs and services, and other helpful information.
“Looking at the data we have, we know that our messaging is getting across to residents,” says Catherine Habermebl, Director of Niagara Region Waste Management. “These are important services that we provide, so we need everyone in Niagara to be aware of what the changes are and why it’s important for everyone to do their share.”
In addition to downloading the Niagara Region Waste app, there are many other ways that residents can prepare for the upcoming changes in waste collection, that ultimately aim to divert waste from landfills.
Get a Green Bin and Kitchen Catcher
- Residents who do not yet have a Green Bin should try to get one before the upcoming changes, as 50 percent of what is typically disposed of in a garbage bag currently can go into the Green Bin, which will continue to be collected weekly. Placing your food waste in the Green Bin for weekly collection will avoid potential issues with odours and pests that may occur if this material is left to sit in the garbage for two weeks.
- The cost of a new Green Bin is $17. Broken recycling/organics curbside collection containers (Grey/Blue Box, Green Bin, Kitchen Catcher) can be replaced free of charge and recycled by visiting one of our listed locations.
- New homeowners and new renters are entitled to obtain one free Blue Box, Grey Box, Kitchen Catcher and Green Bin, if they do not have them already, within the first year of occupancy. Eligibility requirements can be found online.
- Containers can be pre-purchased, and people can select a location for pickup. Or you can purchase containers at the locations listed online.
If needed, residents can register for diaper or medical waste exemption
- Eligible residents who dispose of diaper waste or waste generated as a result of a medical condition can register for weekly pickup if they cannot fit this waste into the two bag/can garbage collection limit every-other-week, and/or are unable to hold onto this waste bags for a two week period.
- In order to reduce the number of trucks on the road, promote waste reduction and reduce indirect costs to taxpayers, Niagara Region asks that only residents unable to dispose of this waste every-other-week, or cannot fit this surplus waste into the two bag/can limit, apply for weekly collection.
- Alternatively, residents can switch to cloth diapers, which reduces garbage going to landfill. Those who already have an existing exemption do not need to reapply unless their exemption is expiring.
More information about the collection changes can be found online or by phoning the Waste Info-Line Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 905-356-4141 or toll-free: 1-800-594-5542.