- Starting Aug. 1, the Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia will switch to clear trash bags to assure that residents are complying with recycling and composting rules.
- Trash haulers will place rejection stickers on any bags that contain recyclable or compostable material, and those bags will be left at the curb.
- "We’re still seeing recyclable or compostable material arriving at our landfill site, and we know when things go into the right stream, it’s better for the environment and saves money in the end," said Tiffany Chase, HRM senior communication adviser, to the Herald News.
In the United States, policing the garbage is a hot-button issue. In Seattle, eight residents have sued the city for invasion of privacy due to "trash-snooping" for compliance. There has also been an uproar in Oakland, CA among restaurant owners over the price of composting.
In Halifax, the privacy issue has been addressed this way: Of the six bags that residents are allowed to put out for collection biweekly, HRM allows one to be green to hide so-called "personal garbage," such as diapers that needed to be wrapped in plastic bags.
A compelling reason to implement the clear trash bags is financial. It costs $170 to process a metric ton of garbage at the landfill, but only $50 to process each metric ton at the recycling facility. It costs $70 to $80 to process a metric ton of compost.
"When everything goes into the proper stream, it’s better for the environment and it saves taxpayers money because an increase in the amount of adherence means our landfill cells get filled less often," said Chase.