County calls time on Dufferin double-up days

July 24, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown

Dufferin County’s COVID-19 double-up days have come to an end, with a return to the standard one-bag limit, county wide, starting this week. 

“The weekly extension of double-up days has served its purpose and moving forward staff recommend returning to the normal county wide one-bag/container limit and the regular double-up day program,” said Scott Burns, director of public works in the report to council. 

The recommendation to end the weekly double-up days, which were implemented during the isolation period of COVID-19, was approved by county council during their meeting last Thursday (July 9). The double-up day program was increased from its three per year scheduling (the week after Victoria Day, Labour Day, and New Year’s Day) to help relieve pressure of increased waste production that was anticipated by the County during the isolation period of COVID-19. It was also implemented to limit the need for residents to leave their home to purchase bag tags for additional bags.  

“Uptake of the COVID-19 double-up days has been limited,” reported Burns. “Ultimately, most households continue to adhere to the countywide one bag/container limit.” 

Dufferin County has used a one-bag limit system across all the municipalities since 2014. A $2 bag tag for additional bags or containers have been available for purchase for households. The one bag limit was implemented to encourage the use of recycling bins and composting bins rather than direct to landfill waste.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, double-up days costs have been approximately $5,000 per month for collection and upwards of $3,000 per month for disposal fees; approximately the additional cost per month for the expanded program has been $8,000.

“Approximately $8,000 per month has been spent on extending double-up days resulting in a total cost to date of around $30,000 (up until July 9 council meeting),” said Mr. Burns in the report presented to council. 

Now that Ontario has entered Phase 3 of reopening in many areas, as cases of COVID-19 continue to dwindle, the report says that with more retailers open that the opportunity to purchase bag tags for additional bags now exists through those businesses.

The end of the double-up day program was immediate following the decision by council, with the return of the single bag limit on Monday, July 13.

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