Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Waste Management By-law?

The Waste Management By-law is a piece of municipal legislation designed to establish levels of service for Durham’s waste management programs, as well as the penalties that can be applied for by-law infractions. Durham Region's Waste Management By-law consolidates all residential waste management programs under one single regulation and provides a foundation for working towards the Region’s goal of diverting 70 per cent of waste from disposal through reuse, recycling and composting.

There is no change in any waste management service levels previously approved by Regional Council as a result of the enactment of the Waste Management By-law. Therefore, no new programs/policies or changes to existing programs/policies are being introduced with the new Waste Management By-law.

How can I get a copy of the Waste Management By-Law?

You may download a copy of Waste Management By-law from Durham Region’s website or request a hard copy by contacting the Clerk’s Department.

I live in the Town of Whitby or the City of Oshawa. Does Durham Region’s Waste Management By-law apply to me?

Durham Region provides Blue Box collection services only in the Town of Whitby and the City of Oshawa. The Town of Whitby and the City of Oshawa provide the rest of the waste collection services (Green Bin materials, leaf and yard waste, scrap metal and appliances, bulky goods and garbage) in their respective municipalities.

Therefore, only the provisions for recycling collection services and the use of Durham's waste management facilities in Durham Region’s Waste Management By-law affect residents of the Town of Whitby and the City of Oshawa. Residents of the Town of Whitby or the City of Oshawa are affected by their respective municipality's waste management by-laws for the rest of their waste collection services (Green Bin materials, leaf and yard waste, scrap metal and appliances, bulky goods and garbage).

How does the Waste Management By-law affect me?

Durham Region’s Waste Management By-law affects all residents and businesses in Durham Region that receive waste management services.

Durham residents are encouraged to participate fully in the Region’s waste diversion programs, such as weekly Blue box recycling and Green bin composting services, seasonal yard waste collection and special waste collection events. Waste management facilities also continue to be available for dropping off acceptable waste items. By participating in the Region’s waste diversion programs, you are helping to reduce our dependency on waste disposal. Your efforts today will help preserve and protect our environment for tomorrow.

I have received a “Friendly Reminder” Notice – what should I do?

Friendly Door Reminder

If you have received a“Friendly Reminder" door hanger at your residence, please note the issue(s) with the set out of your waste, as indicated on the door hanger, and take the actions required to bring your curbside waste into compliance. The notice will provide some tips, but you can also refer to your waste collection calendar or browse through Durham Region’s website for additional guidance on how to properly set out residential waste. If you have any questions about your “Friendly Reminder” notice, please contact the By-law Compliance Officer indicated on the notice or contact the Waste Management Call Centre.

I have received a Work Order – what should I do?

If you have received a Work Order, you should read it carefully and contact the By-Law Compliance Officer indicated on the work order as soon as possible to discuss your compliance options. This will help avoid further action as a result of failing to comply with the work order.

How was the Waste Management By-law developed?

In 2009, the Region of Durham began a consultation process to look into the development of a Waste Management By-law. This consultation process ended in July 2010 and involved area municipalities, Durham Region residents and other stakeholders. The primary goal of the Waste Management By-law is to consolidate all prior waste management by-laws in the Region into a single document, in order to formalize the existing policies and procedures for waste management in the Region of Durham.

Is my participation in waste diversion programs mandatory?

Yes, if you are a resident receiving waste collection services provided by the Region of Durham, the Waste Management By-law applies to you. The by-law outlines the roles and responsibilities for all Durham residents and any businesses receiving waste management services from the Region of Durham. Currently, Durham residents divert more than 50 per cent of residential waste from disposal through participation in reuse, recycling and composting programs – but more can be done. Your efforts in waste diversion programs really do matter. Durham has a goal to divert 70 per cent of the residential waste it collects from disposal.

How will the Waste Management By-law be enforced?

Enforcement of the Waste Management By-law will focus on education and outreach efforts within the community to encourage proper participation in Durham Region’s waste management programs. By-law Compliance Officers will work with residents to make them aware of any infraction(s) and to give them the information necessary to help avoid repeat occurrences. As with most other legislation, waste collection by-laws contain provisions for penalties associated with violations of the by-law. The Region of Durham is committed to educating the community about the importance of participating in waste diversion programs before fines are imposed. However, when deemed necessary, residents may be fined for non-compliance.

Will Region of Durham staff inspect my waste set out at the curb?

Regional employees have the authority to inspect residential waste placed at the curb when necessary to ensure compliance with the Waste Management By-law. Education and guidance will be provided to help residents properly participate in the Region’s curbside collection programs – Blue box, Green bin, yard waste, bulky and metal goods and garbage.

Is scavenging a violation in the Waste Management By-law? If so, how do I report it?

Yes, scavenging is prohibited in the Waste Management By-law – no person shall scavenge, salvage, pick over, interfere with, remove or scatter any waste unless authorized by the Region of Durham. Revenues from the sale of scrap metal and recyclables are used to help pay for the Region’s waste management programs, and to help keep taxes down. The revenue lost from scavenging can only be made up through increased property taxes. If you see it happening in your neighbourhood, you can report it by contacting the Waste Management Call Center and submitting a complaint. Durham Region has the authority to prosecute anyone caught scavenging residential waste set out for municipal waste collection.

How do I report illegal dumping?

If you believe you have observed illegal dumping, you are encouraged to contact the Waste Management Call Centre and submit a complaint. Please provide the location, time of day, date and a basic description of the suspected infraction(s). If applicable, please also record information on any vehicle involved in the suspected infraction(s) such as licence plate number, colour and make of vehicle. A By-law Compliance Officer will determine the jurisdiction and either begin an investigation or work with the respective area municipality that has jurisdiction over the specific case.

How do I report a complaint about non-compliance of the Waste Management By-law?

You may submit a complaint of alleged non-compliance of the Waste Management By-law by contacting the Waste Management Call Centre. Each complaint will be dealt with accordingly to ensure that only valid complaints, made in good faith, will be investigated. Complaints will only be pursued if the following information is received: complainant’s name, address and telephone number; complaint address; a summary of when the violation occurred; and any additional details that would assist with the investigation. All information from the complainant will be kept in strict confidence.