Bag limits are a policy that simply restricts the number of bags/containers of waste that a household can set out for each collection cycle. Permitting residents to set out unlimited waste creates no incentive to participate in recycling or any other waste diversion activities. Setting limits at 5 or more bags/week has no effect on increasing diversion and should only be considered as a soft start to achieving the ultimate goal of transitioning to 1 bag/week.
Municipalities typically cite the following 5 reasons for adopting bag limits:
- To increase waste diversion and/or extend existing landfill life.
- Take the first step to introduce new alternative waste diversion options, e.g. Green Bin.
- To increase awareness of the volume/cost of waste generated by residents.
- Encourage residents to become personally responsible for their own waste generation.
- Increase community environmental responsibility.