SUDBURY -- As people in Greater Sudbury are still getting used to the last garbage collection change made in the fall, the city says it has another one in the works.

In October 2019, the city issued a limit of one bag per week.

Now, city officials say there are plans to transition garbage collection pickup to once every two weeks next year.

"For the garbage and leaf and yard, it’s really the frequency that’s going to be changing and not the limits," says Renee Brownlee, manager of collection and recycling for the City of Greater Sudbury. "So right now, you can get one garbage bag per week. In February of 2021, you’ll receive two garbage bags every two weeks."

The recycling and composting pickup will remain the same, weekly.

Earlier this week, the city’s operations committee was presented with various programs to ensure a smooth transition for residents.

For those concerned about attracting animals, the committee has looked into options to provide secure garbage cans.

"We suggested a subsidy and a rent-to-own program for the animal-resistant waste storage container," says Brownlee. "The committee seemed to like the idea with a little bit of change to the subsidy portion of the program."

The containers are meant to provide additional storage for anyone who may be concerned about where to keep their filled waste bags. Residents will also have the option to bring their waste to the landfill themselves.

Other existing programs in place, including pet waste and medical service exemptions, for anyone who has extra waste due to a medical condition, are not expected to change.

"We did also suggest an enhancement for disposable diapers, which would allow residents to receive collection of diapers only in a clear bag on the week without garbage collection," said Brownlee.

According to city councillor Geoff McCausland, who sits on the operations committee, the plan to reduce pickup fits in well with a survey the city recently conducted. He says 82 per cent of citizens are concerned about climate change.

"We have a bunch of stuff that doesn’t need to go into the landfill going into the landfill," said McCausland. "So, we want people to use their blue bins. We want people to use their green carts. A new landfill costs $50-150 million to build, so maybe we just put the right things in there and we don’t have to do that for a number of years."

A finalized report, complete with any suggestions discussed by the city’s operations committee is expected to be delivered at some point during the second quarter of 2020, before heading to city council.

McCausland says he received relatively few calls from residents in the fall about the reduction to one bag a week.

"The truth is, in so many different ways this is the right thing to do. I know it’s hard to change habits. I know that for some people it is going to be a challenge, but they say 'necessity is the mother of all invention.' And I’m really hopeful that as people go through this transition, they realize it’s really not that hard and it’s really good when your garbage doesn’t stink," said McCausland.