Township offers paper bags as incentive to home owners to go biodegradable for leaf collection
Champlain Township has two new ideas for the fall leaf collection.
The new idea has two parts. First, residents must place all leaves in biodegradable paper bags at the curb for pick-up. Second, to encourage residents to use the biodegradable bags, the township will give packages containing 5 biodegradable paper bags to the first 1,200 residents who visit Champlain Township offices.
Although it was discussed, in the end, councillors decided not to impose limits this year. But residents can transport excess yard waste or leaves to the municipal waste site, located at 1897 Cassburn Road. The waste site will be open November 8, 9 and 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In previous years, residents have been placing "way too many leaves out in bags which were not biodegradable", said Champlain Township Mayor Gary Barton, leading to several days of township staff time spent ripping open bags to empty the leaves out of them. Councillors cited cases of 40 or more bags of leaf waste at some properties.
Holding up a package of five paper garden waste bags, Barton suggested having packages of paper bags made available to residents to encourage them to use the biodegradable bags.
Following discussion, it was decided that leaf collection will take place the week of November 5 and only leaves placed in biodegradable bags will be picked up.
Longueuil councillor Helen MacLeod suggested limiting the number of bags of leaves that residents could leave at the curb, and Vankleek Hill councillor Paul Emile Duval agreed with her.
" You have 50 bags . . . put them in a truck and bring them (to the township waste site)," Duval said.
"If it's not paper, we won't pick it up," agreed Champlain Township chief administrative officer Jean Thériault, adding, "But the thing is: is it really going to help? The people who do it right will come and get the bags but the people who don't do it right, we won't pick it up."
L'Orignal councillor Jacques Lacelle thought the initiative was worth trying. "If it goes good, maybe next time we will buy 2,000 (packages of paper bags).
"If we give out the bags, it encourages people to recycle. And we should limit the number of bags we pick up," MacLeod said.
"The township's waste site will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday so that residents can drop off excess yard waste," Barton said, but it will be on a first-come, first-served basis and people will have to show proof of residence in Champlain Township.
West Hawkesbury councillor Gerry Miner said, "The only thing is if they put 20 bags out, and we pick up 10, my worry is that the 10 are going to stay there.".
"If we say 20 bags, they're going to put 40 . . . if we say 40, they are going to put 70," Duval said..
"It should be clear in the ad that council has given clear direction to the contractor to only collect biodegradable paper bags," said Thériault.
Barton did have reservations about putting the onus on township staff to determine whether plastic bags were biodegradable or not; councillors felt that the paper bags would make it easy for township staff.