Waste Management changes result in immediate increases in waste diversion rates

full bike rack

Green waste containers at the curb

Peterborough, ON - The first two weeks of the new City of Peterborough waste collection program that includes a new weekly Green Bin service, bi-weekly garbage collection, and requiring the use of clear bags without bins for curbside garbage collection has resulted in approximately 76% of overall residential material diverted from the Peterborough City/County Landfill since the program launched on October 31, 2023, up from 52% diversion rates prior to the program.

The first two weeks of the program saw strong uptake on the new program, with approximately 90% of eligible households placing their Green Bin to the curb for pick up.

The requirement to use clear garbage bags is also being implemented by the majority of households, with approximately 90% of households complying.

“Together we’re making changes that significantly benefit our environment,” said Councillor Gary Baldwin, Chair of the City’s Waste Management Portfolio. “By diverting organic waste from the landfill to be composted, we’re reducing methane gas emissions - a greenhouse gas that's 10 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.”

“We’re thrilled with the uptake of the Green Bin program and encourage all residents who can to take part in this phase of the program to participate. We understand that it’s going to take some time for everyone to get into a new routine. We appreciate everyone’s efforts and will continue to support residents as they learn the new waste management services,” Baldwin continued.

New Waste Collection Program Details

Garbage set out requirements

  • Garbage bags cannot be inside bins or pails
  • Clear garbage bags are mandatory for all City addresses, with up to 3 privacy bags (maximum size 25 litres (5.5 imperial gallons)) permitted inside each clear bag
  • weight limits must not exceed a weight of 13.6 kg (30 lbs)
  • Every other week garbage collection outside the Downtown Business Improvements Association (DBIA) area.
  • maximum number bags for property:
    • Six or fewer units: four bags per unit
    • Six or fewer units and at least one business unit: four bags per unit plus twelve bags for the business
    • Property comprised exclusively of one or more business units: twelve bags per property (not per unit)
    • Property within the DBIA: six bags, twice per week

Green Bins

Green Bins will be collected weekly for all properties that are included in the first phase of the program, including single detached homes and multi-residential properties with 6 or less residences.

Green Bins are collected using a mechanical truck arm, therefore a minimum of 2 feet clearance space is required around the bin. Please ensure Green Bins are placed at the curb with the arrow pointing toward the street, at least 2 feet away from other items, including blue boxes ang garbage bags.

Full details on set out instructions and what is included in the Green Bin organics program are online at www.peterborough.ca/GreenBin.


Blue box collection of recyclable material remains unchanged and continue weekly on the same day as Green Bin collection.

Yard Waste

Yard waste will continue to be collected at the curb seasonally between April and the last week of November as follows:

  • Must weigh less than 13 kg (30 lbs)
  • Must be in a yard waste container or bundled, do not place yard waste in the Green Bin
  • Brush can be tied in bundles with light rope or twine, weighing not more than 13 kg (30 lbs), with a length of up to 1 m (3 ft) and a diameter of up to 30 cm (12 inches)
  • Kraft paper bags, or bushel basket are acceptable
  • Bins with a maximum volume of 80 L, with 2 fixed handles and removable lids. Bins must have two clearly identifiable labels attached defining the contents as “Green Waste”. Labels are available free of charge at City Hall 500 George St. N.
  • Yard Waste material must empty freely when emptied/dumped by the collector
  • During late October and November when temperatures drop below freezing, yard waste can freeze, sticking to the sides of bins and causing issues with collection. To ensure full pickup of your yard waste, consider using paper yard waste bags for disposal to avoid partially frozen material being left in a bin
  • No other type of bin will be collected (including blue boxes). No plastic bags, or broken bins will be accepted.

Collection schedule changes

To help ensure that waste collection services can continue to be delivered on schedule as the community continues to grow and to improve worker safety by balancing collection routes, weekly waste collection have changed for approximately 8,200 households. Notices were hand delivered to affected residents, and an online tool is available at www.peterborough.ca/MyCollectionDay for residents to check their collection day.

Waste Collection By-Law

The updated Waste Collection By-Law establishes the requirements for collection of garbage, organic waste, recyclable materials, and yard waste in line with the Waste Management Master Plan. The new by-law introduces enforcement tools to address by-law contraventions.

The City’s approach will be to inform and educate residents during the early stages of this new program. The goal is to support the community throughout the implementation. In extreme cases of non-compliance, fines may be issued.