Frequently Asked Questions - Clear/Transparent Bag Program

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Clear/Transparent Bags Make A Difference!

1. Why implement a clear/transparent bag program?

Council has made the decision to switch to transparent/clear bags to prevent recyclables and hazardous waste from ending up in the landfill. Many recyclable items and hazardous materials are currently finding their way into our two landfill sites instead of being diverted for recycling or safe disposal.

The new program will improve waste diversion in Whitestone, save capacity at the landfill sites and help protect Whitestone’s pristine environment. The clear/transparent bag allows Landfill Attendants to clearly identify any hazardous waste or recyclable materials that should be diverted.

2.    When will the program begin?

August 2020 – Public Education and Soft Launch

The Public Education for this initiative begins August, 2020, with a ‘soft launch’ that encourages residents of Whitestone to sort their waste by using clear/transparent bags.

January 1, 2021 - Mandatory

The clear/transparent program becomes mandatory. Residents that are not compliant with the use of clear/transparent garbage bags will have their waste rejected at the landfill site. Residents will receive more information prior to the program launch through Newsletters, our website, Facebook, Twitter, posters and flyers.

3.    How will privacy issues be addressed?

Out of consideration for people’s privacy, one opaque or solid-coloured “privacy bag” full of garbage is allowed to be placed inside the larger clear bag for personal items. These items could include: sanitary products, incontinence products, medical/pharmaceutical objects, and other personal items.The solid coloured “privacy bag” should be about the size of a grocery bag – no larger than 54.9 cm x 58.4 cm (21.6 in x 23 in.)

4.    Do clear plastic garbage bags cost more than traditional black plastic bags?

Both clear and black plastic garbage bags are made from identical materials, so the suggested retail price should be identical if not slightly less.  Disposal bags may be coloured/tinted as long as they are transparent and all contents are easily visible to landfill staff.

5.    Where can I purchase clear bags?

Local stores in Parry Sound and Magnetawan including the Duck Rock Store in Dunchurch carry clear bags now or will in the near future in a variety of sizes.

6.    What if I have a medical condition and require an exemption?

You may apply for an exemption from the clear bag waste collection policy. To be eligible, applicants must submit an application along with proof of the medical condition verified by a medical professional to the Municipal Office. It is the responsibility of the resident to renew their exemption status each year.

Please call the Municipal Office for more information on how to make an application.

7.    I am a great recycler and already make an effort to recycle.

This will be an easy transition for you; the only change will be the colour of the garbage bag that you are use. This program will encourage residents who are not currently fully participating in the waste diversion activities and programs that are in place.

8.    What happens when residents don’t participate in the clear/transparent bag program?

As of the mandatory implementation date, residents that are not compliant with the use of clear/transparent garbage bags will have their waste rejected at the Landfill. Education information will continue to be provided to remind residents of the importance of the program.


Download the FAQ document

Learn more about the new program and other important landfill updates


The clear bag program will help the Municipality achieve its goal of diverting hazardous and recycling material out of our landfills. When everyone does their part to reduce, reuse and recycle, we generate less garbage.

We all have a role to play in protecting Whitestone’s beautiful natural environment for future generations to enjoy!