Though the by-laws cover all aspects of garbage collection, the biggest change will be respecting the waste collected from private roads. The gray boxes typically are for residents of the private roads that garbage trucks can't get to. However the boxes have caused many headaches for the municipality over the years, with overflowing garbage and items that typically have to be hauled to the landfill dumped in front. Items such as mattresses, appliances and chemical waste have all been problems over the years.
The new bylaws make it clear who can and cannot use the boxes, and also the punishment for those who do not follow the rules.
The rules for private road garbage boxes were ambiguous before, said Brad Rowter director of engineering and works with the Region. In the new by-laws however the rules are crystal clear: Only residents of the road serviced by the box may use it.
The fines have a wide range, based on number of offences and the type of material disposed of, but goes from $100 to $5.000 and a maximum prison term of 90 days.
Once the by-law is in effect notices will be sent out to residents. Signs are also planned for the garbage boxes stating the rules.
The issue has been a concern for many councillors, but particularly those in primarily rural districts.
Coun. Doug Adams has been bringing this issue forward almost from the beginning of his time on council in 2000. He pointed out a lot of the garbage that ends up at the boxes is dumped is not all from residents of the area.
He asked if the rules would be enough to curtail the issue.
"I believe a few fines would definitely change the issue," said by law officer Kelly-Anne Hurley.
Before fines are given she says they will try to do prevention and warnings before moving to prosecution. However now the warnings have teeth to back them up.
The by-laws come into affect when council gives the final approval.