What is a bin site?

    A bin site is an unstaffed, communal “dumpster site”.
    These locations were established many years ago with the
    initial purpose of conveniently servicing households where it
    was not possible to provide curbside collection due to inaccessible
    private/seasonal roads or water access/island properties.

    How many bin sites are in Muskoka?

    There are eighty-eight (88) bin sites across Muskoka. Bin sites are located in Bracebridge,
    Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Muskoka Lakes and Georgian Bay. There are no bins in Lake of Bays.

    Bin sites have been around for years. Why do they have to go now?

    The MECP has required that Muskoka’s bin sites be removed because by collecting waste from
    multiple households and commercial businesses, they are acting as unlicensed transfer stations and
    pose a risk to human health and the environment. This does not comply with the Environmental
    Protection Act (EPA).

    How many residents use bin sites?

    Bin sites provide waste collection service to approximately 6,500 or 10% of Muskoka’s households (including water access properties).

    Is there a plan for removing the bins?

    Yes. In June 2019, the MECP directed the District to formulate a plan to transition all Muskoka bin sites to alternate waste collection service by 2023.

    The draft Bin Site Transition Plan was submitted in September 2019 for review. Direction from the District’s Engineering and Public Works Committee on October 23, 2019 was that submission of the final Bin Site Transition Plan to the MECP be deferred until November 30, 2020. 

    This will allow time to consider and consult on specific waste collection alternatives for our
    communities – this will further inform the final implementation plan.

    Can our bin site stay?

    Direction from the MECP is that all District unlicensed bin sites will need to transition to
    alternate waste collection service by 2023.

    Will the sites be removed all at once?

    No. Given bin sites provide waste collection service to many residents throughout Muskoka, alternative
    waste collection service needs to be planned before their removal.
    The transition will occur over a multi-year period to ensure communication, customer service support,
    and new waste drop-off facilities are in place.

    How will waste collection alternatives be determined?

    A consultant has been retained to examine the bin site network and Muskoka’s waste collection system. It is anticipated that the study will evaluate various waste collection alternatives and consider
    Muskoka’s long-term waste management vision and goals, other municipalities and their level of service (including other areas of the District), and provide opportunity for consultation. 

    Recommendations will be presented to District Council in fall 2020 for their consideration and direction. This study, referred to as the “Alternate Servicing Study”, will be undertaken in a manner similar to an Environmental Assessment, using similar methodology.

    Will I have a say in alternate waste collection service?

    Yes. It is anticipated that consultation on the Alternate Servicing Study will occur over the spring
    and summer of 2020 when cottagers and seasonal residents return to Muskoka. Residents and cottage associations will be contacted with information on the Alternate Servicing Study and feedback

    Please visit www.EngageMuskoka.ca and click “follow the project” to receive updates when they become available.

    What about water access or island residents currently serviced by bin sites?

    It’s recognized that bin sites currently provide waste collection service to water access and island
    residents throughout Muskoka. Transitioning the bin sites will impact these households given the bin
    sites have provided convenient, dockside service for many years.

    The Alternate Servicing Study will specifically consider these residents and provide opportunity
    for consultation on alternate waste collection service, which may include development of
    additional licensed waste receiving facilities. Recommended collection service will be presented
    to District Council for consideration and direction.

    Will removing bin sites encourage and enable illegal dumping?

     Muskoka’s bin sites facilitating and enabling dumping throughout our area. They do not discourage
    illegal dumping as many of the sites are used by commercial businesses and non-residents of
    Muskoka for convenient, “free” garbage disposal.

    Clean-up of bin sites takes on average ten (10) paid District staff throughout the summer to manage the illegal dumping around the bins. Disposal of bulky items, large amounts of garbage, contaminated
    recycling, and clean-up of litter costs all ratepayers of Muskoka.

    What waste management services do my tax dollars pay for?

    Muskoka’s integrated waste management system considers the collection, haulage, disposal and/or
    processing of garbage and divertible materials. Thirteen (13) waste receiving drop-off facilities are
    located throughout Muskoka (ten transfer stations and three waste depots), providing numerous diversion programs and waste disposal opportunities for residents. 

    Operations include landfilling at our Rosewarne Landfill in Bracebridge and composting
    of organic waste at our Beiers Transfer Station in Gravenhurst. Other services include management of
    curbside collection, overseeing closed and historic landfill properties and comprehensive environmental monitoring programs, long-term planning, and addressing illegal dumping.