NORTH BAY – The city of North Bay is implementing a new fee as of next week for every garbage bad above the three-bag limit per household.

Soon, residents will have to purchase garbage bag tags if they go over the limit when putting trash to the curb.

"So as a starting point towards recycling and put out less waste, we're starting a buck-a-bag program," said Chris Mayne, North Bay City Councillor.

City Council approved a motion authorizing an amendment to the recycling and waste collection contract.

When it comes into effect, residents will be able to tag three extra bags for collecting per week.

The tags will be sold at city hall for $1.

"Although we're facilitating an extra bag of waste, I would remind everyone that the preferred direction to take is to recycle whenever you can," expressed Mayne.

In comparison to other cities in the north, Sudbury for example, only picks up one bag of garbage per household, in addition to unlimited recycling bins.

It also has a bag tag program, but it is slightly more expensive, coming in at $10 for 5 tags.

Mayne notes North Bay has one of the highest volumes of garbage collection in Ontario, but also one of the broadest recycling programs.

Meanwhile, environment advocates say this is the first step to reduce waste that comes from the city.

"It's a step and I'm in favour of it but I think it can even be stronger than that… it needs to have an education piece along with it," says Harriet Madigan, Clean, Green, Beautiful North Bay.

Mayne hopes council will reduce the three bag limit in hopes of encouraging more reducing, reusing and recycling.