City of Kingston announces changes to waste pick-up and drop-off

Curbside waste collection in the City of Kingston. Photo by Tori Stafford.

The City of Kingston is reinstating the usual one untagged garbage bag limit for weekly pick-up, along with some other changes with regard to waste management.

As of Monday, Jun. 15, 2020, residents will once again have a limit of one untagged garbage bag per week for weekly curbside pick-up. Since Thursday, Mar. 19, 2020, the City has allowed residents to put out up to four untagged bags of garbage per week for collection. This temporary change was one of the many changes enacted by the City in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the City, that change was made to help residents:

  • Stay home and eliminate non-essential trips to pick up bag tags
  • Who were unable to access bag tags because retailers were closed
  • Follow the City’s ‘Protect your Collector’ guidelines, which asked that any ill residents place any items that came in contact with their face into the garbage.

Heather Roberts, Director of Solid Waste Services for the City of Kingston, further explained these changes in a press release on Thursday, May 28, 2020.

“The four-bag limit was a temporary measure to help individuals and families that were self-isolating, and to provide relief to sick or symptomatic residents who were encouraged to throw any items in contact with their face into the garbage. This continues to be an effort under the ‘Protect Your Collector’ guidelines to safeguard waste collectors during the pandemic,” Roberts said. “KFL&A Public Health reports that residents are doing well, cases are low and many retailers are resuming regular hours, so it’s time to bring back the one-bag limit.”

Bag tags available online

Those households wanting to put out more than one bag of garbage for weekly collection will need to put a bag tag on each additional bag. Bag tags are available for $2 each, and can be ordered anytime on the City of Kingston website here. According to the City, orders are typically filled within five to seven business days. As such, residents are encouraged to order bag tags now in advance of the June 15 return to a single bag of garbage per household, per week. Bag tags are sold online in sheets of four with a maximum of 40 tags per order, and a $1.50 shipping and handling charge is applied to each order.

Bag tags can also be purchased at a number of locations (list available here), but residents are reminded that City facilities offering counter service to purchase bag tags remain closed at this time.

Yard waste drop-off restrictions to be reduced

The yard waste drop-off restrictions announced by the City on Thursday, Apr. 9, 2020 will remain in place to manage the increased springtime volume of visitors and provide sufficient physical distancing. That means residents are still being asked to only attend the City’s yard waste site on their regular curbside waste day, or on certain Saturdays depending on where you live and according to schedule available here.

These yard waste restrictions will remain in place until Sunday, Jul. 5, 2020.

“The changes to the use of the yard waste site have been put in place to help address demand – and safeguard the health of those who visit and work at the public drop-off depot. Starting July 6, residents will be able to drop-off yard waste again Monday through Saturday, and will no longer have to wait until it is their regular curbside collection day.  However, the maximum capacity of eight cars in the drop-off area at one-time and physical distancing measures will remain in place,” Roberts said. “Wait times will be less, but residents could still experience delays at certain times.”

Information for residents needing recycling or green bins

Although the City’s curbside pick-up of blue/grey recycling and green compost bins has continued throughout the pandemic, residents have not been able to pick up new bins or exchange broken ones since mid-March.

“We know that many residents need them, or have broken Green Bins and/or recycling boxes to exchange. The Kingston Area Recycling Centre and other City locations that provide these containers remain closed. We’re working on options to bring these services back safely, and ask that the public continue to be patient,” Roberts explained.

To help this situation, the City is allowing residents to use a plastic container of a similar size, such as a laundry basket, in place of their recycling bin for the time being.

Residents who require a green bin can call 613-546-4291 ext. 2708 to make a request for deliver. This service will be available until other options to provide or exchange green bins are available, in an effort to help residents comply with the one-bag weekly limit. Residents are reminded that reach residential unit is only remitted one green bin each.

June giveaway day and backyard composter sale cancelled

The Giveaway Day that had been scheduled for Saturday, Jun. 20, 2020 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the regular spring backyard composter sale has also been cancelled due to budget considerations associated with the pandemic, the City said.

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