4. Exemptions

Municipalities can help residents transition to a PAYT policy and assist residents with special needs by introducing amnesty days and/or special exemptions for families with infants and medical waste.

a. Amnesty and Double-up Days

Some communities permit residents to set out additional amounts of waste without requiring tags on a designated “amnesty day” or permit a “double-up day” on the next collection following a holiday. Each municipality prescribes a different set out limit e.g.

Halton Region First collection following
Christmas
 All 6 bags without tags
(instead of regular 3 tagged)
City of Kingston First collections following
New Year’s Day, Victoria Day, and Labour Day
2 untagged bags
Simcoe County First collections following, Victoria Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas 1 untagged bag
Niagara Region First collection following Christmas 1 additional untagged bag

b. Diapers

A typical infant requires about 8,000 diaper changes from birth until toilet training is completed! If you use disposable diapers, that’s about 4 tonnes of waste per infant.

Municipalities may choose to help families with infants in diapers by issuing free tags or other exemptions. The number of tags issued depends on the municipality but typically range from 40 to 52 per year, allowing residents to set out an additional bag of waste/wk. equivalent.

While most municipalities require families to complete applications, some (e.g. Niagara Region, Orillia and Kingston) have simplified the process by allowing families to place 1-2 clear bags containing only diapers at the curb for collection without requiring tags. Crews are given a list of households permitted to set out the diapers in clear bags.

Examples:

  • Halton Region provides up to 40 diaper tags for use that are transferable year to year. Residents must place diapers in clear bags with a diaper tag. The total number of bags set out for collection including diaper bags cannot exceed the bi-weekly 6 bag limit.
  • Halton Region also allows residents to bring their diapers free of charge to either the Regional landfill or one of two transfer stations.
  • Dufferin County provides 24 tags for a period of 6 months. Residents must reapply every 6 months.

Many municipalities require the household to agree to participate in alternative waste diversion programs offered by the municipality as a condition of receiving the exemption.

c. Medical Waste

Municipalities may choose to help families with medical conditions by issuing free tags or other exemptions. The number of tags issued depends on the municipality but typically range from 40 to 52 per year, allowing residents to set out an additional bag of waste/wk. equivalent. Most municipalities require residents to complete an application.

Examples:

  • Niagara, households and/or group homes and homes for adults with disabilities, will receive 52 free waste tags annually and additional tags will be made available on a case by case basis, subject to an annual application process and doctor’s signature every 3 years.
  • Kingston, issues 52 tags permitting the resident to place 1 extra bag per week. The resident must complete an application, subject to renewal, and provide a note from a medical practitioner stating that the bag limit would be exceeded without the exemption (actual medical condition does not need to be disclosed).
  • Barrie, residents are couriered 26 tags at the beginning of each year or pro-rated depending on the time. This permits 1 additional bag set out every other week.
  • Hamilton, permits 1 bag to be set out weekly but does not permit tags to be purchased; however, after problems encountered with illegal dumping and public backlash, the City started to provide all households with 12 free tags annually. Special cases (e.g. medical and families with infants) can receive an additional 14 tags after filling out an application. Other householders can also request additional tags by completing an application and will receive 14 additional tags above the 12 distributed (only 4% of households request the additional tags). They must apply each year.

Many municipalities require the household to agree to participate in existing alternative waste diversion programs offered by the municipality as a condition of receiving the exemption.