North Bay homeowners will soon be able to put more waste out for pickup.

Right now residents are limited to a free three-bag limit.

However, beginning perhaps as early as November 11, residents can put out an additional three bags at a cost of $1 per bag.

The buck a bag clause kicks in when a homeowner exceeds the free three-bag rule.

Councillor Mac Bain has favoured the buck a bag concept for years but opposes council’s adoption of the new rule.

Bain wants the buck a bag charge applied to all household garbage including the free three-bag limit.

He believes applying a buck a bag to garbage only after the free three-bag limit is exceeded will result in more waste ending up at the Merrick Landfill.

The landfill has about 18 years of life left and Bain says that time frame will be shortened as more waste ends up at the site.

He says regardless of whether the present site is expanded or a new site is created further from North Bay, it will cost tens of millions of dollars.

“So the longer we can push (that cost) down the road, the better it is for residents of North Bay,” Bain said.

“We need to do everything we can to help the environment like recycle more.”

Councillor Chris Mayne played down Bain’s concerns about the buck a bag proposal filling up the landfill sooner than expected.

Mayne says the primary source of waste that ends up at the dump is construction material and not residential waste.

Mayne believes Merrick is in pretty good shape regarding its life expectancy for the next number of years.

However, he makes no secret that he would like council to review the concept of the free three-bag limit.

Mayne believes all garbage should be charged at a dollar a bag.

He says doing that might encourage more people to recycle.

He adds when people recycle more, less waste ends up at the landfill and that prolongs its life.