Friday, November 26, 2021 - 9:15 AM

Clear Bags for Garbage starts in 2022

blue image with clear garbage bags that reads 'Let's be Clear with our Waste"

Starting on January 1, 2022, garbage put at the curb must be in clear, colourless bags - except for one 'privacy' bag per week.

Across Canada, including in Newfoundland and Labrador, clear bags for garbage have:

  • Removed hazardous waste from garbage
  • Improved safety for collection staff
  • Increased recycling

“From a recent waste audit, we know that more recyclables are going in garbage bags than in blue bags in St. John’s; currently only 46% of recyclables placed at the curb for collection are put in blue bags – the other 54% are being put in garbage bags,” says Councillor Sandy Hickman, representative for Public Works.

Residents will still need to put recycling in blue bags.

“Diverting recyclables from the landfill is good for the environment and for the taxpayers of the City. At Robin Hood Bay, a tonne of garbage costs $82 to dispose of, while a tonne of recyclables costs only $22. When blue bag recyclable items are thrown in the garbage, the City has to pay almost four times more to process them, and the landfill has to absorb unnecessary waste that could have been recycled for future benefit,” says Councillor Maggie Burton, Council representative for Sustainability. 

Using Clear Bags
To help with the transition to using clear bags for garbage, the City has worked with the makers of Billy Boot bags to provide sample clear bags to residents through:

  • Winter 2022 City Guide (wrapped in plastic for this edition to hold the sample clear bags)
  • City Community Centres and Access St. John’s Service Centre
  • Community events and public gatherings

Most grocery and home supply stores in St. John’s carry a selection of waste bags including clear bags; kitchen-sized clear bags can be found at some retailers. It is anticipated that some residents and retailers may need a period of adjustment to get used to buying and supplying clear bags for garbage. The City will take an educational approach to give everyone time to purchase and start using clear bags for garbage.

For more details about using clear bags for garbage, please visit the Curbit website.

The City of St. John’s is committed to a city that is sustainable today and for future generations; economically, environmentally and financially.