Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

MUSKOKA — District landfill changes that charge you more to drop off your yard waste will see more bags of leaves on curbs Saturday on the first of two pick-up dates Oct. 24 and Nov. 7.

They say a minimum $12 fee (up to 145 pounds) was established to encourage less trips to the transfer stations and to cover operational and transportation costs of the large amount of materials received. Three bags of household garbage can still be delivered at no charge each week without paying the fee.

This weekend’s free leaf and yard waste is collected from urban area residential households in the green bin service area.
Leaves in plastic/compostable bags cannot be collected.

Only use the following:

  • paper yard waste bags
  • cardboard boxes
  • open-ended ridged container (ie. garbage can)
  • bags/containers must not exceed 44 pounds for safe lifting
  • brush/twigs can be tied together with string the bundle must not exceed 2 feet by 3 feet.
This Saturday is the first of two free leaf and yard waste collection days in Muskoka. The other is Nov. 7.

Meanwhile, the province is seeking public input on its proposal to reduce the amount of food and organic waste going to landfills.

Proposed amendments to the Food and Organic Waste Policy Statement would clarify and expand the types of materials that should be collected by municipalities in green bins and encourage innovation in the processing of compostable products.

“Consumers and businesses want to cut down on the amount of waste they create by composting food and other organic materials, but with programs and services varying from community to community, there is a lot of inconsistency and confusion about how to do this,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. The Food and Organic Waste Policy Statement provides direction to municipalities, industrial and commercial businesses, and institutions on reducing and diverting food and organic waste.

They say proposed changes would:

  • Clarify and expand the types of materials that may be collected in municipal green bins and other collection systems, including certain compostable products and packaging such as certified compostable coffee pods.
  • Support consumers and businesses in making better decisions about packaging and food waste and spur innovation in the management and processing of compostable products, for example, through technology updates, research, and piloting.
  • Reduce waste from going to landfill.

The province will also work with municipalities, businesses and institutions to identify ways they can improve the tracking and reporting of their efforts to meet waste reduction and diversion targets.

They government says proposed changes to the Organic Waste Policy Statement were informed by the Compostable Products Technical Working Group, made up of experts from municipalities, industry and the waste management sector.

The public can provide their feedback on amendments to the Food and Organic Waste Policy Statement, which is open for public comment on the Environmental Registry until Nov. 11.


Over 60 per cent of Ontario’s food waste is sent to landfills, even with over 90 municipal green bin programs in Ontario. When this material ends up in landfills, it creates methane, which is 28 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide when measured over a 100-year period.

In Canada, $31 billion worth of food is wasted annually. Ontarians alone generated nearly 3.6 million tonnes of food and organic waste.

Ontario’s 2019 Reducing Litter and Waste Discussion Paper outlines the province’s commitment to an outcome-based approach to reducing litter and waste in our communities, as well as steps for making waste reduction, reuse, and recycling easier for the people of Ontario.

The province wants more of your waste in their blue boxes and green bins, under a new proposal before the provincial Parliament that would clarify what goes in which container. 

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