Waste Strategies

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  • View the feedback report from the 2019 Waste Strategies engagement. A report on the engagement will go to the Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation Policies Committee in early 2020.
  • Winter-Spring 2020: The City is consulting directly with owners/managers and residents of multi-residential buildings with seven or more residential unit about the option of making use of the Green Bin program mandatory. A survey and workshops are planned for this stakeholder group.

The City is seeking your input on the implementation of new waste strategies to reach the goal of diverting 65 per cent of household waste from landfill by 2025. The


  • View the feedback report from the 2019 Waste Strategies engagement. A report on the engagement will go to the Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation Policies Committee in early 2020.
  • Winter-Spring 2020: The City is consulting directly with owners/managers and residents of multi-residential buildings with seven or more residential unit about the option of making use of the Green Bin program mandatory. A survey and workshops are planned for this stakeholder group.

The City is seeking your input on the implementation of new waste strategies to reach the goal of diverting 65 per cent of household waste from landfill by 2025. The City has been stuck at 60 per cent waste-diversion level for the last three years, and new service levels, policies or programs are needed to reach 65 per cent.

The City’s most recent curbside audits show that as much as 50 per cent of what is in the average garbage bag is compostable (35 per cent) or recyclable (15 per cent) material that can be captured in the City’s voluntary blue/grey recycling box and green bin programs. If all of these waste items were put in the right box or bin, Kingston would have a waste diversion rate of 76 per cent!

Diverting waste from landfill is good for the land, air and water - the whole environment benefits when less waste is sent to landfill! Watch this video to learn about how waste reacts in a landfill.

Diverting waste means capturing valuable resources out of the garbage sent to landfill that can be reused, recycled or composted. Capturing these resources, and keeping them out of landfill, decreases carbon and methane gas emissions which are contributors to climate change and prevents toxins from being released into land/water.

Your input will help us determine how waste collection changes in Kingston. The forum below, held this spring, helped us gather wide-ranging ideas on strategies that can be implemented to increase our diversion rate. A series of focus groups at the end of May/beginning of June has helped further hone those strategies that will be presented at the upcoming open houses.

While 'reduce' is always the first 'R' – and we encourage Kingstonians to reduce their waste – this public consultation is specifically focused on understanding how to capture the recyclables and organics that continue to be placed into the garbage that’s put out at the curb and sent to landfill by the households in our community.

For more details on this project and its background, see the City’s project page.



Have questions about the waste diversion strategies being proposed -- or any other aspect of this effort to get recyclables and organic waste out of Kingston garbage bags? Please submit your questions until 4 p.m. on Oct. 18.


Q&A

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    This focuses on household waste which is important but, what about the waste generated by the hospital? Will this also be addressed? Consider that one surgery can result in up to 4 garbage bags full of waste.

    spatel asked about 1 year ago

    The Waste Strategies being discussed as part of this project focus solely on household waste. The City of Kingston only collects waste, recycling and organics from residential properties, and the goal of 65% waste diversion from landfill is determined based on residential collection data.

    It is very important that the discussion about waste generated at hospitals, schools, restaurants,  and other Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) properties continues, but this waste is not collected or regulated by the municipality. Waste diversion and disposal at IC&I properties is regulated by Provincial laws and regulations and is therefore outside the scope of this project.


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    With the option to have citizens use clear bags does this mean that Garbage cans will no longer be allowed? I thought the goal is to reduce the use of plastic not increase it

    Peter Robb asked about 1 year ago

    The various details and requirements for all the options have not been fully designed at this time, so it has not been finalized how a clear bag program would effect the use of garbage cans in the City. Current thinking is that garbage cans will be allowed, but waste must be loose in the can so that collection staff can see the contents of the can why they are dumping it.

    Consultation with other municipalities that are using a clear bag program will be conducted before a decision is made, should the City decide to move forward with a Clear bag program.

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    Is all the recycling picked up in Kingston actually recycled? Is it done locally or exported? If it’s exported do we know for sure exactly what happens to it? Do we follow up and make sure it doesn’t end up in another countries landfill or get dumped on the ocean? Because that is what happens in the USA and other countries. There is absolutely NO POINT in us recycling if it’s just going to be a problem somewhere else on the world.

    Jude Morcom asked about 1 year ago

    All recyclable materials collected in Kingston are recycled, the majority of which is done locally. Paper products, plastics containers, steel, aluminum and glass all have local markets in the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor that the City of Kingston will ship to a majority of the time.

    At times, materials may be sent to international markets, but this is generally due to higher pricing (if they are paying for materials, they are not being landfilled) or need for specialized recycling processing of these materials.

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    Can citizens compost natural based cat litters (corn cob, pine, wood pellet etc) in city bins? My home composter cannot get hot enough to kill potential pathogens therein. Thank you! (Apologies if this sent twice, the web site made me sign in again and didn't say if my msg had sent)

    Rachel Vandenassem asked about 1 year ago

    Residents cannot compost natural based cat litter in the Green Bin. Similar to your backyard composters, the City Cannot guarantee that all the pathogens have been killed in our composting process. The composting process at our facility is essentially an upscaled version of back yard composting called windrow composting. The heat generated from our windrows is more significant but may or may not be hot enough to kill the pathogens. Our compost is used as a soil additive in local farmers fields, so we cannot accept the litter to prevent the potential spread of pathogens in animal wastes.