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City's two-bag limit stands
Council votes against amendment to keep garbage status quo

Simon Whitehouse
Northern News Services
Published Friday, December 2, 2011

A last-ditch attempt to keep the curbside garbage limit at three bags failed Monday night, as city councillors refused to support an amendment put forward by Coun. David Wind.

Wind had asked for the limit not to be lowered to 77-litre bags or containers effective Jan. 1 and for the present three-bag limit to remain. However, none of his council colleagues would support the amendment.

"I felt I had to put the argument forward because of larger households or families that are already hard-pressed with the three-bag limit," Wind said.

"Going down to the two-bag limit is going to make it worse."

Wind argued the lowered limit could lead to people dumping trash at roadsides or in undeveloped areas of the city to avoid tipping fees at the dump.

Coun. Cory Vanthuyne said he found most people he talked to support council's plan to phase in the lower bag limit. The city doesn't intend to make people pay $1 for the third bag until April 1. All additional garbage bags put on the curb need to be affixed with a $1 tag - available at city hall and several stores - before garbage handlers will remove them.

"Quite honestly there wasn't anybody that I had talked to that had any concern with this limit directly affecting members of the family," he said.

"On the most part they had indicated to me that they are quite pleased with the initiatives that the city has taken over the last year in regards to improving waste management and promoting recycling and re-using."

Coun. Bob Brooks, who last May stated he wouldn't support a two-bag limit until the city had instituted a curbside recycling program, said he received a similar response from residents. He said Wind's amendment was a step backward because recycling services in the city are improving.

"I wasn't willing to go to the two-bag limit until we had got more of the big blue bins around town and had the (GNWT's) beverage container program a little more developed," he said.

"All of those things have come to fruition, so it makes sense to carry on with the transition."

Coun. Lydia Bardak voted against Wind's amendment, but wants to see the city accommodate families who may have varying levels of waste week to week.

"I do not support the amendment to this bylaw and I support the direction that council is already going because of the many increasing opportunities for recycling," she said.

Bardak asked administration to look into the possibility of allowing residents to purchase a year's worth of garbage tags - or 104 tags - at the beginning of the year. She said this could allow residents some "flexibility" in garbage disposal.

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