Coronavirus: 2-month grace period for garbage bag tags approved in Northumberland County

Northumberland County residents will be permitted to put out one free garbage bag a week during regular curbside collection for the next two months as county council offers ways to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a special council meeting on Monday afternoon, councillors unanimously agreed to a motion that residents and businesses who receive curbside waste collection will receive the first bag of garbage collected for free.

The move is effective Tuesday until May 29.

Tags are mandatory on all curbside garbage bags in the county and there is still remains a two bag limit per household each week for collection.

Brian Ostrander, mayor of the Municipality of Brighton, presented the motion after hearing concerns from residents.

“This is a means to improve physical distancing and it would help alleviate current financial pressures for county residents,” he said.

However, Ostrander and others were not in favour going beyond one free bag per week.

“”We have to lend a hand where we can,” said county deputy warden Bob Crate, mayor of Trent Hills.

Tags cost $3.75 each, which increased by $1 on March 1 — the first fee increase since 2007. The deferred tags raised questions among the councillors about how — or if — the county can recoup the funds after the grace period.

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