In the Bag

Brown Paper Bag

As of this morning’s curbside pickup, nearly half of Kingston will have had the opportunity to participate in the city’s first green bin collection.  According to stats provided by City Officials, approximately 35% of Kingstonians are using their green bins, while usage is on par with what they expected at the beginning of this initiative.  It’s no secret that I’m a huge proponent of Kingston’s organic waste recycling program.  In the past, I’ve commented on everything from the benefits of diverting waste from landfills, to eventually offsetting/reducing weekly garbage bag collection, and even the design of the promotional materials associated with the green bin.  In the wake of my first curbside collection, I thought that I’d pass on and solicit some green bin tips.

Along with your green bin, you should have received 2 complimentary Bag To Earth paper liners.  It didn’t take long for us to fill both of these, and we quickly scrambled to find out where we could purchase additional Bag to Earth liners in Kingston.  Thankfully the list or retailers is long, and most stores have ample stock, however there is one significant catch.  Although I appreciate the fact that the Bag To Earth liners are durable, and thus they won’t leak all over the place when it comes time to transfer waste from one bin to another, that still doesn’t justify the astronomical price.

For instance, their largest box of small food waste bags (x 200) costs $80, or $0.40 per bag.  Further, their biggest box of large food waste bags (x 60) retails for $54, while the price per bag is a staggering $0.90.  Thus if you choose to line your green bin with Bag To Earth products, you’re essentially throwing out a small fortune.  So what are the alternatives? The city does not accept biodegradable or compostable plastic bags, although in some cases these are just as expensive as their paper cousins.  You could forgo bags altogether, although that would create rather unfriendly odors, and the city may not accept the contents of your green bin.  If you put out your green bin without using paper liners, and the city collected it, please let us know by commenting.

My solution came to me after ordering take out, which came in a free brown paper bag.  Since we don’t eat enough take out to keep ourselves stocked with free green bin liners, we decided to supplement our supply by purchasing some lunch-sized paper bags.  Although I can’t recall the exact price or quantity of the lot, I’m almost certain I’m now paying less than 5 cents per paper bag, which is a huge savings in comparison to the Bag To Earth options.  Sure they may not be as large or durable as the Bag To Earth’s products, but the savings far outweigh the disadvantages.

Please let us know what you’re lining your green bin with, so that we can promote the most affordable and environmental option. Thanks and photo credit to THERKD for the picture of the guy with a paper bag on his head.



  1. leifer April 10, 2009
  2. junior April 10, 2009
  3. Tommy Vallier April 13, 2009
  4. Harvey Kirkpatrick April 13, 2009
  5. Rhiannon April 15, 2009
  6. Harvey Kirkpatrick April 15, 2009
  7. Harvey Kirkpatrick April 21, 2009

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