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Take that, yuck factor

The province’s decision to let Guelph residents line their green bins with certified compostable plastic bags will be a big relief to people concerned about what’s been called the “yuck factor” related to carts for organic waste.
In Waterloo Region, where no plastic at all is allowed into their green bins, use of the bins is voluntary. And participation hasn’t so far been what the region had hoped, probably partly because of the yuck factor. A lot of people just put kitchen waste into black garbage bags, unfortunately. In Guelph, where the use of bins will be compulsory once people get them, the option to use compostable bags should keep people happier about the cart system.
Of course, buying paper bags or compostable plastic bags to line green bins is an expense. So a lot of people might want to do what’s done by some Waterloo Region residents – namely, just using newspaper to line the bottom of the green bins, and also the bottom of the kitchen containers used to collect organics. It’s free, and it seems to work pretty well in Waterloo Region.
On a related note, it will be interesting to see how the city’s instruction to residents to unlatch the lid of the green bin after placing it at the curb will work out. Raccoons will relish this when the bins are left at the curb overnight.
As the bin system is rolled out from now to late 2014, no doubt there will be kinks in the system that will need to be worked out. A cooperative spirit by all will help a lot.

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