Garbage

garbage bag with bag tag

At this time, garbage must be set out in a garbage bag to be collected. Loose garbage in cans will be rejected.

Find your local waste and recycling collection day.

Tips and reminders

  • Each week, you can put up to two bags of garbage at the curb for collection (household sized bags only. Contractor bags are not accepted)
  • Each bag of garbage must weigh less than 44 pounds (20 kg)
  • Bags in a garbage can must be tagged on the bag, do not place tags on the can
  • Garbage cans can be no larger than 80 litres (17 gallons)
  • Garbage bags or cans placed on snowbanks will not be collected
  • Bag tags must be visible for collection
    • Please stick tags end-to-end around the neck of each bag, like a clothespin (see image above)
 What is Garbage?

Garbage is anything that is not considered hazardous waste or anything that is not accepted in your blue box, grey box, or green bin. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Chip bags
  • Wrappers
  • Pet food bags
  • Stand-up food pouches
  • Clementine crates
  • Foam meat trays
  • Stretch wrap
  • Foam takeout containers
  • Shoes and clothing
  • Pet waste and bedding
  • Toys
  • Straws
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Lottery scratch tickets
  • Photographs
  • String
  • VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc.
  • Much more

Buy bag tags

Bag tags are $4.25 each. Sellers may charge a handling fee of no more than 10% to a maximum of $4.68 per tag.

Buy bag tags online

You can buy bag tags at any location below:

Please note some locations may be closed in response to COVID-19. Please call ahead to ensure your local seller is open to the public.

Township of Alnwick/Haldimand

  • Material Recovery Facility, 280 Edwardson Road, Grafton (Debit or credit only)
  • Alnwick Haldimand Municipal Office, 10836 County Road 2, Grafton
  • Grafton Variety, 10861 County Road 2
  • The Red Barn, 103 Lonsberry Road, Roseneath
  • Esso Gas Bar, 10843 County Rd. 2
  • Trails End, 5365 Roseneath Landing Rd.

Municipality of Brighton

  • Brighton Community Recycling Centre, 1112 County Road 26
  • Brighton Municipal Office, 35 Alice Street
  • Main St. Variety, 77 Main Street
  • Mike and Lori's No Frills, 155 Elizabeth Street
  • Mr. Convenience, 64 Elizabeth Street
  • Mobil, 157 Elizabeth Street
  • Barratt's Office Pro, 36 Main Street
  • CGI Fuels, 3 Elizabeth St.

Town of Cobourg

  • Northumberland County, 555 Courthouse Road
  • Cobourg Town Hall, 55 King Street West
  • Convenience K, 275 University Avenue West
  • David's No Frills, Midtown Mall
  • Elgin Variety, 336 Elgin Street East
  • Fisher's Foodland, 990 Division Street
  • Metro, Northumberland Mall
  • Petro Canada, 1030 Division Street
  • Shopper's Drug Mart, 270 Spring Street (off King Street)
  • The ReStore, 764 Division Street
  • Westwood Convenience, 365 Westwood Drive
  • Yonge's Convenience, 443 King Street East
  • York Super IDA, 500 Division Street
  • Pat and Rob's Convenience, 32 King St. W
  • Woody's Smokeshop, 6 King St. W

Township of Cramahe

  • Cramahe Municipal Office, 1 Toronto Street
  • Castleton General Store, 1768 Percy Street
  • Esso, 109 King Street East, Colborne
  • Mr. Convenience, 16 Toronto Road, Colborne
  • Foodland, 25 Toronto St.

Township of Hamilton

  • Bewdley Community Recycling Centre, 7650 County Road 9
  • Township of Hamilton Municipal Office, 8282 Majestic Hills Drive
  • Baltimore Gas Bar, 4723 County Road 45
  • Clark's Dale Road Variety, 8404 Dale Road
  • Harwood Family Variety, 6117 Harwood Road
  • Lakeside Supermarket, 5082 Rice lake Drive North, Bewdley
  • Mr. Convenience, 4765 County Road 45, Baltimore

Municipality of Port Hope

  • Port Hope Municipal Office, 56 Queen Street
  • Davis' Your Independent Grocer, 20 Jocelyn Street (off Toronto Road)
  • Giant Tiger, 145 Peter Street
  • Gilmer's Home Hardware, 177 Toronto Road
  • Food Basics, 125 Hope Street South
  • Pharma Plus, 60 Ontario Street
  • A-Plus Variety, 68 Wellington St.
  • BBC Convenience, 99 Walton St.
  • Maple Leaf Smokeland Variety, 123 Peter St.
  • Port Hope Pioneer, 161 Peter St.
  • Port Hope Convenience, 19 Oxford St.
  • Uptown Variety, 266 Ridout St.
  • Village Variety, 4572 County Rd. 2

Municipality of Trent Hills

  • Seymour Community Recycling Centre, 344 5th Line West
  • Scott's Variety, 22 Main St., Warkworth
  • Trent Hills Municipal Office, 66 Front Street, Campbellford
  • B&C Variety, 15 Bridge Street West, Campbellford
  • Fisher's No Frills, 15 Canrobert Street, Campbellford
  • Hastings C-Store, 30 Bridge Street North, Hastings
  • Hastings Home Hardware, 13 Front Street, Hastings
  • Sharpe's IGA, 85 Front Street, Campbellford
  • Todd's Valu Mart, 52 Bridge Street, Hastings

Northumberland's Bag Tag system - Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Northumberland's Bag Tag system? Check out our FAQ for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

What is the cost of a bag tag?

Effective March 1, 2021, bag tag prices will increase by 50 cents to $4.25 per tag.

Some vendors may charge up to, but no more than, a 10% handling fee. The maximum a vendor can charge for a bag tag will be $4.68. See the ‘Buy a Bag Tag’ section for a list of vendors in your area.

Why are bag tag prices increasing in 2021?

At the end of 2019, the County launched an enhanced waste services program, with a new curbside collection contract coming into effect at that time. In addition to long-standing garbage, recycling and leaf and yard waste collection, this expanded contract addresses new waste programs such as Green Bin (food waste) collection and two-stream recycling, including the new equipment required to deliver these programs. This expanded set of collection services, along with rises in inflation since the previous contract was established 10 years ago, have resulted in increased costs for the delivery of waste management services for the community.

As part of 2021 Budget deliberations, to balance sustainable service delivery with affordability, County Council voted to increase the price of garbage bag tags by 50 cents to $4.25 per tag. Mindful of the pressures facing local taxpayers, Council approved this user fee increase as an alternative to raising necessary revenue through further property tax increases. This places greater control into the hands of residents, who are then able to off-set household waste disposal costs by taking advantage of the full suite of recycling and green bin services, which allow for unlimited set-out of recycling items and up to two full green bins each week, at no charge. 

Why have new waste collection programs been implemented?

In 2014, the County adopted a Long-Term Waste Management Master Plan (LTWMMP) with an overall goal of diverting more than 75 per cent of the County’s residential waste from going to landfill. The purpose of this goal is to extend the life of the Brighton Landfill – our community’s only remaining active landfill – by an additional 4 to 5 years, until the year 2034/35.

With measures in place up to the end of 2019, our community was diverting approximately 43 per cent of residential waste from the landfill. Two of the most significant changes implemented towards achieving the goal of 75 per cent diversion were implemented at the end of 2019 - the Green Bin (food waste) collection program, and the transition from a single-stream bagged program for recycling to our new “Recycle Right” two stream, blue and grey box program.  

Are new waste collection programs having an impact on diversion rates?

Yes, they are. Based on the successes of the new Green Bin and Recycle Right programs in 2020, we were able to increase our annual waste diversion from landfill by the equivalent of 275 additional full garbage trucks (or 2,750 tonnes) of waste. This is great progress towards our 75 per cent diversion goal!

In the first year of the new Green Bin program, 22 per cent of all residential waste set out to the curbside was food waste diverted from landfill. In 2021, we expect to divert more than 2,400 tonnes of food waste from going to landfill. We also anticipate, as the new Green Bin program matures, the amount of household garbage set out for collection will continue to go down.

In much of 2020 we were in ‘Phase 1’ of the new Recycle Right Program, where residents were asked to place their recyclable materials loosely into their new Blue and Grey Boxes versus in clear bags. Up until December 2020, all loosely set out recyclables were collected in the same compartment within the collection vehicle, while our contractor acquired new vehicles to keep these materials separate. 

Even though recyclable materials were comingled during Phase 1, we were still able to achieve a 24 per cent reduction in the amount of waste materials sent to the landfill from our recycling plant in Grafton. This also meant that we were able to capture and sell more recyclable materials into the marketplace to be recycled into new products.

As of December 1, 2020, we began ‘Phase 2’ of the Recycle Right Program. Under Phase 2, our collection contractor, with their new fleet of collection vehicles, is able to keep the Grey Box (paper) materials separate from the Blue Box (container) materials. We expect additional gains in diversion rates in 2021 due to this change. 

What other diversion measures have been implemented since adoption of the Long-term Waste Management Master Plan (LTWMMP) in 2014?

Since the LTWMMP was adopted in 2014, several measures have been implemented in addition to the Green Bin and Recycle Right programs that are each diverting additional tonnes of waste from our landfill, annually:

  • County-wide Roadside Collection of L&Y Waste (2015): 2,100 tonnes
  • Bulky Plastics diversion (2016): 34 tonnes
  • Clothing diversion (2017): 13 tonnes
  • Styrofoam diversion (2019): 6 tonnes
  • Year-round Household Hazardous Waste diversion (April 2019): 194 tonnes
  • Year-round E-Waste diversion (April 2019): 165 tonnes
Why do we have a partial user pay system in Northumberland? Why aren’t all costs included in property taxes?

The County requires all bagged garbage set out for collection to have a bag tag affixed to it. Requiring residents to pay for their garbage collection through a user pay system (such as a bag tag program), versus having the cost of garbage collection included in property taxes, is seen as a best practice throughout the province. The County has a partial user pay system, with the difference funded through property taxes.

The County’s user fee is intended to minimize the amount of garbage our residents place out for collection, by creating a financial incentive for people to participate in our roadside collection programs for recycling, food waste (Green Bin) and leaf and yard waste, which allow for unlimited set-out of recycling items and up to two full green bins each week, at no charge. Essentially, the less waste you set out, the less you pay.

Encouraging people to reduce waste is vital for our community, as we seek to divert over 75 per cent of residential waste in order to extend the life of the Brighton Landfill – our community’s only remaining active landfill – by an additional 4 to 5 years, until the year 2034/35.

What is the breakdown per household between bag tag fees and property taxes, in how waste collection costs are recovered? 

In 2021, the cost of providing waste collection services will amount to approximately $130 per Northumberland household for the year.

With the introduction of new waste programs at the end of 2019, residents now require fewer bag tags to dispose of waste. With the average household now buying approximately 21 bag tags per year, the breakdown on cost recovery by household for annual collection services in 2021 will amount to approximately $90 from bag tags and $40 from property taxes.

What other waste fees are included in my property taxes?

In additional to partial waste collection fees, property taxes also include fees for waste services such as landfill maintenance and operation, and operation of Community Recycling Centres and the Material Recovery Facility. In 2021, property tax fees for waste services not including collection will amount to approximately $150 per household.

Overall, the total annual cost for waste management services for the average household in 2021 is approximately $280 per year. This price includes the purchase of bag tags. This equals roughly $5.40 per week per household.

What can I do to decrease the amount I’m spending on bag tags?

Residents are encour­aged to take advantage of the full suite of recycling and green bin services now implemented—which allow for unlimited set-out of recycling items and up to two full green bins each week, at no charge—to off-set household waste disposal costs.
Can I still use bag tags purchased before March 1st?
Regardless of when bag tags are purchased, they can be used to dispose of a bag of garbage.

Mayors' Keep the County Clean Challenge

Every year, municipalities participate in a week-long litter clean-up campaign in an effort to keep the County clean from litter. Residents are encouraged to register with their local municipality. Planning is currently underway for the 2022 event. 

Illegal dumping

Please report any illegally dumped garbage in one of two ways:

In your report, please let us know the location of the garbage, along with a description of the vehicle and person, if available. Please do not open any bags or remove any evidence.

People who illegally dump waste will face a fine of $305 to $5,000. You can learn more by viewing our Illegal Dumping By-law 2018-22 .

Medical waste subsidy

If you create large amounts of medical waste due to a medical condition, you may apply for a garbage bag-tag subsidy. If approved, you will receive a set number of free bag-tags per year to help you with the disposal of your medical waste.