A Halifax councillor wants the municipality to look into the pros and cons of switching to black and blue bins for garbage and recyclables instead of using plastic bags.
“Most other Canadian cities have already moved to bins,” said Coun. Sam Austin. “We’re a bit of an anomaly in that we have bins for our organics but have never used them for the rest of our waste stream.”
Austin plans to ask for a report at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Regional council will also be considering a motion to draft a bylaw by the end of 2019 to ban the use of single-use plastic bags.
Coun. Tony Mancini agrees it is a good time to consider the use of bins, although the potential cost of up to $24 million for both black and blue bins is a concern.
“It could be quite expensive to provide every household in HRM with bins and a lid,” said Mancini. “And they have to have lids to prevent material from blowing around.”
Austin said the cost of buying plastic bags would have to be compared to the increased taxes needed to provide the bins. He points out there is at least one municipality in Ontario that lets the homeowners provide their own black and blue collection bins.
But even if the system is found to be financially feasible, the transition cannot happen right away..
“If we went to bins we’d have to change our contractors’ equipment and the best time to do that is when the contracts are up for renewal in three year’s time,” said Austin.