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Outside the downtown, the City collects waste from small mixed-use buildings and institutional properties. If you are a business, residential, institutional, or mixed-use property located in the downtown collection area, please visit our downtown waste collection page instead of this page.
The City collects waste from businesses (excluding downtown businesses) that are small mixed-use buildings and institutional properties.
Part of the recently approved scope of work was to establish the service levels for the Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional (IC&I) sector. The City engaged with the community over the course of this project, and based on that work, staff recommended changes to the waste collection service level for the IC&I sector. Council approved staff’s recommendations on April 25, 2022.
The decision to change the service levels for the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) sector was based on a need to provide equitable service throughout the city and was reviewed alongside the Service Rationalization Review that staff conducted during the development of the Solid Waste Management Master Plan.
Additionally, the Government of Ontario’s new Blue Box Regulation will transition the City’s recycling collection to a Producer-operated system in 2025 which will not service IC&I properties.
As of March 1, 2023, the following IC&I customers may continue to receive waste collection service from the City, if they meet the new requirements:
Small mixed-use buildings
A small mixed-use building is a building containing six or less units with at least one residential dwelling unit and at least one non-residential use (e.g., a business). To be eligible for waste collection by the City, the following criteria must be met:
- The property is located on a residential collection route;
- Waste is separated into the three streams (organics, recyclables and garbage);
- Each residential dwelling unit may receive up to one set of waste carts (240 litre grey and 360 litre blue biweekly collection and 80 litre green weekly collection), and
- Each non-residential unit must request permission from the property owner to share the carts provided to a residential unit.
For an institutional property (e.g., place of worship, not-for-profit community centre), the eligibility criteria states that:
- The property is located on a residential collection route,
- Waste is separated into the three streams (organics, recyclables and garbage), and
- The institutional property may receive one set of waste carts (240 litre grey and 360 litre blue biweekly collection and 80litre green weekly collection).
Applications for eligible customers
If your business meets the eligibility requirements noted above, here’s how to get started:
- Submit a Waste Management Plan and Source Separation Commitment to [email protected] for approval
Once the City approves your application, you are required to:
- Enter into a Waste Collection Service Agreement with the City and meet all agreement requirements (e.g., insurance)
- Distribute a letter and promotional and educational materials about three stream sorting to residents, tenants, occupants and/or owners
- Sort waste into three streams (organics, recyclables and garbage)
Alternative waste collection arrangements
If your business is unable to meet the eligibility criteria, or if you require waste collection beyond the level of service the City can provide, you will need to seek alternative waste collection arrangements through private contracts.
- Waste Management By-law
- Waste Management Plan and Source Separation Commitment for small mixed-use buildings and institutional properties
- City Waste Collection Service Agreement for small mixed-use buildings and institutional properties
- Sorting poster (8.5 x 11)
- Sorting printout for residents, tenants, occupants and/or owners
Frequently asked questions
Why did the City review the eligibility of Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) establishments for City waste collection service?
The decision on the establishment of service levels for the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) sector was based on a need to provide equitable service throughout the city and was reviewed in accordance with the Service Rationalization Review while we were doing our Solid Waste Management Master Plan.
During this process, the City engaged with the community through several activities including virtual open houses, public online surveys, conversations with community members and organizations, workshops, and through Guelph Economic Development and Tourism outreach via special bulletins and a sector newsletter.
A full review for the recommendation included a review of fairness and equity of service, the exclusion of municipal responsibility and mandates for services to businesses under provincial waste legislation and alignment of our service levels to meet the new Blue Box regulation, which makes Producers of blue box material responsible for blue box collection services. The City will not be collecting blue box materials starting January 1, 2025 and businesses will not be eligible for service under the new Producer program.
There are approximately 200 impacted businesses, representing approximately five per cent of total businesses in Guelph. There are over 4,000 classified businesses with employees in Guelph, and to ensure fairness and equity, the City is adjusting service levels to the five per cent of properties to bring service in alignment with the other 95 per cent of businesses to ensure consistency for the IC&I sector.
How did the City engage with the community throughout this project?
The City engaged with the community as follows:
- A public launch event with Dr. Dianne Saxe was held on December 9, 2019 and was advertised in the Guelph Mercury Tribune on November 28 and December 5, 2019. The advertisement was also posted on the Have Your Say engagement page and in the engagement newsletter, and on the City’s social media accounts.
- The virtual open house and survey was launched on Have Your Say on August 17, 2020 with ESRI StoryMaps, an interactive multimedia webpage that uses text, images, and media to display information and data. A notification for this virtual open house and survey was published in the Guelph Mercury Tribune on August 20, September 3, 17 and 24, 2020. The advertisement was also posted on the Have Your Say engagement page and in the engagement newsletter, and on the City’s social media accounts.
- The first of two public online surveys ran from August 17 to September 30, 2020 on the Have Your Say engagement page as part of the City’s Solid Waste Management Master Plan (SWMMP).
- Conversations with community members and organizations were organized in fall 2020, and spring 2021 for a total of 25 conversations with community members who expressed interest in the project.
- The second virtual open house and survey was launched on Have Your Say on June 2, 2021, which updated the previous ESRI StoryMaps page. A notification for this virtual open house and survey was published in the Guelph Mercury Tribune on May 20 and June 3, 2021. The advertisement was also posted on the Have Your Say engagement page and in the engagement newsletter, and on the City’s social media accounts.
- The second of two public online surveys ran from June 2 – 30, 2021 on the Have Your Say engagement page as part of the City’s SWMMP. A postcard directing customers to the survey was handed out with receipts in June 2021 at the Waste Resource Innovation Centre’s public drop-off.
- Dillon Consulting hosted three workshops on behalf of the City to engage the community on three key issues being explored in the SWMMP. The workshop for IC&I customers was held on June 2, 2021. Staff also engaged with the Chamber of Commerce in June 2021.
- An email was sent to a business distribution list of over 3700 recipients to gather feedback on City waste collection service levels to commercial and institutional properties through the following:
- Special bulletin – Guelph Business Updates and Engagement Opportunities, on Monday September 13
- Monthly newsletter – Mind Your Business, on September 16
- Special bulletin – Tell us what you think about the updated programs to manage waste for businesses, on September 23, 2021.
- A news release on March 24, 2022, informing of the recommendations in advance of the Council committee meeting on April 4, 2022.
- A news release on April 26, 2022, following the Council meeting on April 25, 2022 that approved the IC&I waste collection service level.
- In-person visits, phone calls and emails with IC&I customers have been ongoing from November 2022 to February 2023, to provide notice and to help businesses prepare and plan for alternative waste collection arrangements as necessary.
My business does not have storage space for front end bins. Do private sector waste collectors provide cart collection service?
Yes, there are local private sector waste collection companies that provide cart (also called tote) waste collection services.
My business wants to participate in recycling and organics collection. Does the private sector offer this service?
Yes, there are local private sector waste collection companies that provide recycling and organics collection services. There is also a pilot underway with the Circular Innovation Council and The SEED for businesses to participate in an organics collection program to increase the economy of scales for small businesses.
My business pays taxes, why don’t I receive waste collection service?
The property tax system is based on the principle that all property owners share the cost of providing municipal services and programs for the entire community, regardless of whether an individual taxpayer makes use of a certain City service. The property tax system is not a user-pay system; all property owners (i.e., residential, business, commercial, industrial) contribute to the municipal waste management system regardless of whether municipal waste collection service is received or provided.
With respect to fairness and equity of service, any service over and above the current level of service supported by the current level of taxation, is in fact a service level increase. All taxes collected are distributed to meet the current program requirements. To expand collection at IC&I establishments that are currently not serviced is a service level increase and is not included in the current taxes paid by IC&I property owners. There are many competing service offerings, community needs and goals, and staff work to fit all these competing objectives into a finite budget, while also managing inflation and tax increases.
Property taxes are assessed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) property assessment rather than by services provided or used.
Will the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) establishment receive a tax rebate if removed from City collection?
No. The City does not provide waste collection to most businesses, and it has never been the intention of the City to compete with private waste haulers. Property taxes are assessed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) property assessment rather than by services provided or used.
How much is the City saving by not providing the waste collection service to these 200 businesses?
The decision to establish eligibility criteria and service levels was not about savings. Council directed staff to do a Service Rationalization Review and it was determined that the City is not legislated to provide this service to IC&I customers and further, that it was being done inequitably across the City. The staff recommendation and Council direction righted that inequity.
I bought those grey and blue bins, will I get a refund?
The carts belong to the City of Guelph. The fee was a one-time fee which included the cost of delivery to the business. The fee is non- refundable.
Will the City provide additional service if my business is willing to pay a fee for waste collection and processing service?
The City does not provide a user fee for IC&I waste collection services that are beyond the established eligibility criteria. It has never been the City’s intention to compete with private waste haulers for waste collection at IC&I establishments.
Will the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) waste collection service standards apply to the downtown core?
The service level for waste collection in the downtown is also under review based on the recommendations from the 2021 Service Rationalization Report, as well as the 2021 Solid Waste Management Master Plan, being undertaken as part of the Downtown Infrastructure Revitalization project. Recommendations coming out of the review will be brought forward for Council consideration and approval.
For more information
Solid Waste Resources