5. Enforcement

Enforcement is a necessary component of any successful PAYT policy, especially during the early stages of implementation. Enforcement procedures ensure the PAYT system operates smoothly, fairly and cost effectively.

Residents need to be made aware that illegal dumping or misuse of tags will not be tolerated. Enforcement procedures and fines should be introduced into local waste management bylaws and considered a last resort after promotion and education. The better informed residents are about the policy and the benefits to the community, the less need for enforcement.

Enforcement of illegal dumping requires immediate action with the waste collected and sorted to find the owner. Once identified, the municipality should have procedures in place to deal with the infraction.

Examples of enforcement approaches include:

  • Fining the offender for the cost of collecting and disposing of the illegal dumping.
  • Shaming the offender by placing a name in the local newspaper or municipal website.
  • Delivering the waste back to the offender with a letter/note of warning that should the incident happen again, more serious action will be taken.

Enforcement is also required at the collection point to deal with improper participation. Most often a municipality will work with the collection contractor who will be informed not to collect untagged or mis-tagged waste placed at the curb.

Case Study

City of Barrie 

When the PAYT policy was implemented, the City experienced problems with residents leaving waste at other residential properties. The City responded by sending one of four environmental officers to investigate the complaint, search through the waste for an address and send a warning letter with an invoice to recover the costs of the investigation and management of the waste. The invoice, depending on the amount of waste left, would range from $70 to $100.

Barrie experienced about 3-5 infractions per week with the policy launch which dropped off to about once per week after about 6 months. The City experiences few problems now.