Cornwall Hearing, Cornwall, Ontario

OPINION: Bag limit? Big deal?

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By Nick Seebruch
OPINION: Bag limit? Big deal?
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The City of Cornwall’s new waste management by-law came into effect on Monday, April 1, and it is no joke.

Amongst other things, the new by-law institutes a bag limit of six per household, that is to say, six per any home that has six units or less.

The goal of this bag limit is to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill, and I also believe that it will encourage more recycling.

Keeping recyclables out of the landfill will help extend its lifespan past 2030 and save all the taxpayers of Cornwall the significant expense of creating a new one. There is also the nice added bonuses that it will help keep our environment clean and that the municipality makes a return on recycled items, particularly aluminum foil.

There have been two reactions to this new bag limit that are polar opposite to one another. First there are the people who think it goes too far, and then the second camp who think it doesn’t go far enough.

I’m much closer to the second camp. I think it is a good start and is a sign that the City is heading in the right direction in terms of environmental preservation.

I have seen some comment that there is no way they could adequately accommodate a limit of putting out six bags of garbage a week. Some say it will lead to garbage piling up in the streets. My response is, how is anyone creating that much garbage?

I live in a household of two, plus a small dog. We produce one large bag of garbage every two weeks. For recycling on the other hand, we average two large blue bags a week. Now for a family of four, I still don’t see how they would produce more than one or two bags of garbage a week, maybe three if they have a new baby.

The vast majority of the world’s scientists, well over 90 percent, are saying that stabilizing the environment will be the greatest challenge this generation will face and if we as a city can take a small step to reduce our ecological footprint while saving money a the same time, I don’t see how that could be anything but a win-win.

What do you think of the City of Cornwall’s new garbage bag limit? Email me a Letter to the Editor at

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