SUDBURY -- Greater Sudbury is returning to a one-bag residential garbage limit Sept. 14.

It had increased to four bags in March to help residents who produced more garbage when the pandemic hit because they were spending more time at home. It was cut back to two bags earlier this summer as the city gradually reopened.

Chantal Mathieu, the city's director of environmental services, said a "slew" of programs are in place to help people who have to dispose of things like diapers and medical waste.

"So most of the waste people are generating at home now that they have adjusted to the new normal, can easily be met by the one-bag limit," Mathieu said.

More illegal dumping

Despite the expanded limit during the pandemic, the city's bylaw department has seen an increase in illegal dumping this year. Brendan Adair, the city's manager of security and bylaw enforcement, said bylaw offers investigate such cases and try to determine where the garbage originated.

''That is our key interest -- who put it there and (why) was it done so negligently," Adair said. "When we are talking about the north, we have seen cases of bears taking garbage from a residence and it ends up two streets over."

The city has received almost 250 complaints about illegal dumping so far this year, a 96 per cent increase over the same period last year. The one-bag limit came into effect in October 2019.

"From a bylaw enforcement standpoint, whether it be private property, or even public property, we care about our community and the cleanliness," said Adair.

Fine is $430

The fine for illegal dumping is $430. The city said using a green cart can drastically save on filling up garage bags.

"All of your types of food waste," Mathieu said, when asked what can go in the green cart. "So anything organic, anything that breaks down. Any of your foods, whether it's meats, chicken and vegetables and even non recyclable papers."

The city has set up a live camera at the Sudbury landfill site entrance so that residents can see how busy it is before they make a trip to the dump.

More information, including how to apply for exemptions, can be found here