Citizens in Hamilton, Ontario Canada are only allowed to waste dispose of one, thirty-six gallon trash container per resident per week at a maximum weight of fifty pounds. This number has been reduced from the original rule of a weekly maximum of nine containers per week.
Hamilton is comprised of six smaller towns that merged together in 2000. There is a total population of a little over half a million and the municipality manages over five hundred million pounds of waste annually.
In 2000, when the nine-container per household rule was in place, the waste recycling rate was only sixteen percent. Between 2001 and 2006, Hamilton updated its waste management strategic plan and as a result improvements were made to its materials recovery facility with the addition of a composting area, a recycling area, and increased community education and outreach. During this time period, the waste recycling rate of the city rose to forty percent.
However, the number of allowable containers per week was still to high and it was decided that it should gradually be reduced. The city first moved to a three-container maximum in 2008, and then progressed to a one container plus one bag rule, and then finally to the one bag or one container rule that stands today.
Since enacting the rule in mid-2010, ninety-eight percent of the residents have complied. Those household who exceed the weekly limit are given three warnings before fines are administered.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: How is your town or business handling waste disposal and waste recycling? The more you throw away, the more you pay, so it’s worth it to increase your volume of recycled materials!