Guelph City Council approves updated Waste Management Bylaw

The updated bylaw includes changes for multi-residential, grass clippings and medical waste collection

Guelph, Ont., March 19, 2019 – City council has approved an updated Waste Management Bylaw that addresses common collection issues and sets the City up for multi-residential collection beginning later this year. Major changes include stopping the collection of grass clippings from green (organics) carts and curbside yard waste collection and stopping collection for facilities that create medical waste.

Grass clippings

The City will begin enforcing the grass clippings change in the spring of 2020. This change is a recommendation in the current council-approved Solid Waste Management Master Plan and is in alignment with current City initiatives like the Healthy Landscapes program. Grass clippings add unnecessary costs to the City’s collection and organic processing operations due to their weight and volume and composting large amounts of clippings can cause odours. Additionally, 76% of residents who participated in the waste bylaw update survey stated that they agreed, or strongly agreed, with banning grass clippings from green carts and yard waste collection programs.

In 2019 the City will focus on making sure residents know how to manage grass clippings, with a focus on encouraging people to leave them on the lawn where they can break down naturally to support healthy lawn growth.

Medical waste

Starting in April, the City will stop regular waste collection from facilities that create medical waste. Examples of these facilities include doctor, dentist and veterinarian clinics, and tattoo parlours.

Provincial legislation already requires these facilities to arrange proper medical waste disposal. Improper disposal of medical waste puts City staff and the public at risk and results in costly shutdowns at the City’s waste facilities.

The City has been communicating this change with affected facilities since January 2019 to give them time to arrange any needed private waste collection.

Multi-residential collection

The City will begin collecting waste from multi-residential properties this spring. This change means the City can collect more recyclables and organics resulting in less of Guelph’s waste ending up in landfills.

The City expects to onboard up to two multi-residential properties per week. Property owners or managers interested in learning more about this opportunity should contact Solid Waste Resources at [email protected] or 519-767-0598.

Other changes

Other bylaw changes include:

  • formalizing a standard level for collection services (e.g. frequency of collection, number and size of carts available to residents);
  • adding procedures, practices, and policies in place at the Waste Resource Innovation Centre; and
  • removing references to outdated practices, policies, and procedures.

To see the new bylaw and a summary of the changes, read the March 18 Council report. The new bylaw will also be posted at

Media contact

Heather Connell, Manager, Business and Technical Services
Solid Waste Resources
519-822-1260 extension 2082
[email protected]