Greener Collingwood

Clean & Beautiful - Keeping the Community Litter-Free

image of hand placing crumpled paper in a recycling bin with text overlaid "I will reduce waste"Keeping Collingwood clean and green is everyone’s responsibility. While the Town does its part to keep the community litter-free, your help is needed too! 

How can you get involved?

  • Pickup litter around Town while out on walks to reconnect with nature and get fresh air.
  • Report litter and waste that has been dumped in the community by contacting the Town, so that Staff may respond.
  • Divert waste from landfills by recycling or composting materials when and where possible. For example, use curbside green and blue bins.
  • Reduce waste by giving old items new life instead of throwing them away. For example, using old containers for storage and donating items.
  • Prevent waste by stopping it before it's created. For example, choose to buy goods with little/no packaging.

Anti-Idling By-law

The Town continues to enforce an Idling Control By-law. This is a measure the Town has taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Stormwater Management

The ultimate goal of stormwater management (SWM) is to maintain the health of our streams, lakes, and aquatic life, as well as provide opportunities for human uses of water by mitigating the effects of urban development. Every new development must incorporate SWM into their design. The Town has assumed a number of these SWM facilities. These include quantity and quality SWM ponds, as well as in some applications, oil grit separators (stormceptor). These facilities are inspected and tested regularly. Most are inspected annually however in some cases they are inspected several times a year. A detailed inventory of all inspection, testing, and maintenance is kept on all of the Town owned facilities. It is imperative that the maintenance is kept up on these facilities as it is a requirement of the Ministry of Environment approval as well as it is good for the environment.

Salt Management

The Town of Collingwood has a salt management plan that is currently under review by staff and will be presented to Council sometime later in 2023. The current plan must be reviewed in conjunction with our level of service standards to ensure that we can effectively deliver our winter maintenance services and manage the use of road salt, as outlined in Environment Canada’s Code of Practice for the Environmental Management of Road Salts. The current plan is very effective, however, opportunities for improvement are being explored.

Urban Forest Management Plan

The Town of Collingwood values the urban forest and its contribution to the liveability of our community. In addition to the environmental, social, aesthetic and economic benefits of the urban forest, the Town recognizes the importance trees have on health, quality of life, tourism, recreation and green infrastructure. The Town is committed to sustainable management of the urban forest as well as supporting community action and stewardship to maintain, renew and enhance this natural resource for future generations.

Urban Forest Management Plan

In addition to the Canopy Collingwood program, which provides financial incentives to purchase trees and set up pollinator gardens, the following work to preserve and augment the local tree canopy is currently underway, pursuant to the August 2022 update report to Council:

  • Targeted update to the Urban Design Manual
  • Targeted update to the Development Engineering Design Standards
  • Comprehensive update (or complete re-write) to the Tree Regulation Bylaw No. 2012-084
  • Creation of a site alteration bylaw
  • Public consultation on those updated tools
  • Implementation of the tree inventory monitoring system

Other helpful links related to our tree canopy:


Corporate Initiatives

The Town of Collingwood has recognized that many efforts toward environmental sustainability have been taken on by individual Staff over the years. To leverage these efforts and encourage expansion of actions and understanding, a corporately internal “Greener Collingwood” group has been formed to implement consistent and beneficial practices across the corporation. A group of Staff, representing all areas of the Town, are involved in selecting and actioning collaborative initiatives and setting an example for the community. In addition to corporately led initiatives, such as the transition of all printers to more energy efficient models, the reduction of paper use, and policies limiting the use of colour ink, the Greener Collingwood staff group will implement internal environmental actions. The initial list includes the following:

Single Use Plastics: The reduction or elimination of single use plastics in the work environment.
Recycling: The development of consistent recycling practices by staff across the organization with a focus on education to perfect sorting and increase beneficial collection.
Composting: The development of a composting plan, focusing on sorting education and providing consistent facilities to ensure success.
Battery disposal: Working with Simcoe Solid Waste Management to develop a plan for the proper disposal of single use batteries and divert these from landfill. 

Town lowers energy consumption with hybrid vehicle replacements

Town of Collingwood to highlight and launch green corporate initiatives 

Picture of one of Collingwood's Plug-In Hybrid SUVs
The Town of Collingwood is deploying four recently purchased plug-in hybrid vehicles as part of its efforts to lower energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas production.

The purchase was made possible through the town’s current fleet vehicle replacement policy. The policy requires analysis of life-cycle fuel cost for light vehicles and includes incentives for hybrids. It ensures that consideration is given to more fuel-efficient vehicles and encourages hybrid vehicles where possible.

The vehicles purchased are plug-in hybrids that have a range of approximately 40 km on one charge. They can be charged from a regular 120 volt receptacle or by Level 2 or Level 3 electrical vehicle charging stations. When required, the gasoline engine will operate to charge the battery, propel the vehicle, or both at the same time. They also utilize regenerative braking to capture the kinetic energy of the vehicle and further charge the battery.

The vehicles will be utilized in the Public Works, Water, By-Law, and Building Departments. It is anticipated that they will operate on the electrical motor for most of their service life as the daily mileage will rarely exceed the 40 km range.

The greening of the Town’s corporate fleet also includes two new electric ice resurfacing vehicles for rink maintenance and two bicycles for By-Law road patrols.

The Town of Collingwood is recognizing many internal corporate efforts toward environmental sustainability and is taking action on new Greener Collingwood corporate initiatives like recycling, composting, and reducing single use plastics.

“As the Town of Collingwood moves forward with green corporate initiatives, I encourage the businesses of the region to also look for ways to implement new green practices, and reduce energy consumption and waste,” said Mayor Brian Saunderson, “We all have a role to play in the environmental stewardship of our beautiful community.”

Other Resources

Georgian Bay Forever The Diversion 2.0 Program and Diverting and capturing microplastics in Collingwood

Volunteer for a FREE filter for your washing machine
Georgian Bay Forever is looking for 300 Collingwood households to volunteer for a FREE washing machine filter.
How do you qualify?

Volunteers must use their washing machine year-round and be connected to Collingwood Town water.
There must be space for the filter unit - which is about the size of a large vertical paper towel dispenser.
Georgian Bay Forever needs some volunteer participation over the course of 2 years, which includes a short survey about laundry habits and emptying the filter every 2-3 weeks in a provided bag that will be picked up for measurement.

If you feel that you qualify, please email

Downloadable 2 page PDF on the qualifications if you want to share or print it out by clicking here: Qualifications for Free filter

Stay tuned to this page for announcements on Greener Collingwood initiatives.

Water Conservation is great

The Broader Public Sector (BPS) plays an important role in helping Ontario meet its conservation targets and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under Ontario Regulation 507/18 (Broader Public Sector: Energy Reporting and Conservation and Demand Management Plans), made under the Electricity Act (1998), BPS organizations are required to: 

  1. Report annually to the Ministry of Energy, on their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and publish the reports on their websites;
  2. Develop a five-year conservation and demand management plan and publish the plan on their websites.