Clear Bags Policy

Clear Bags Policy

About 40 Ontario municipalities have successfully implemented a clear bag waste collection policy. The primary rationale for recommending this policy change varies by municipality, however, the top three reasons cited include:

  1. Increased worker safety by enabling the waste collector to see the contents of the bag and avoid hazardous items (sharp glass, needles, tin, etc.).
  2. Removal of hazardous waste items (batteries, paint, pharma, oil, etc.) from the waste stream.
  3. Increased diversion of recyclables (through curbside/depot collection) and organic material from the waste stream.

Under a clear bag policy, residents cannot buy their way out of participation by purchasing a larger sized container or additional tags to dispose of more bags of mixed/banned waste and banned items cannot be easily hidden beyond what may be placed in a small privacy bag. The policy offers a democratic process whereby all residents must play by the same rules.

Clear bag waste policies have been implemented in municipalities across North America for over a decade. Throughout Canada, over half a million households receive clear bag waste collection. A number of Ontario based programs including Dufferin County, Markham and West Grey have been highlighted within the CIF project 748 Clear Bags Implementation Toolkit along with examples of resource materials created to support the design, communication and successful rollout of their individual clear bag waste policies.

For municipalities considering the adoption of a clear bag policy, CIF has produced a comprehensive tool designed to provide municipal Councillors and staff with key information, case studies and a detailed implementation road map prior to approval. Click the link to download your copy of the Clear Bags Implementation Toolkit.