Halton Region Announces 311 Service

Halton launches 311 service

Halton Region is making it easier for residents to connect to programs and services.

It has launched the 311 non-emergency service online, which allows residents to find, pay, register, report or request services from the Region, Halton Regional Police, or local municipalities.

Residents can now either dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca/311 to access all eight Halton government partners (Regional and local municipal governments, Halton Regional Police Service, Halton District School Board and Halton Catholic District School Board) and find out more about recycling and waste pick-up or register for parenting or parks and recreation programs.

Customer Service is a priority of Halton Region’s Citizens’ Priorities (2011-2014) Action Plan. Last year, more than 290,000 residents called Access Halton for information about programs and services.

What is 311?

  • 311 is an easy-to-remember, three-digit, non-emergency telephone number that offers a single window of direct access to Halton government services.
  • 311 provides free, multilingual assistance to anyone calling from within Halton.
  • It allows citizens to request a service or receive general information.

Whose services can I access by dialing 311?

  • Halton Region
  • City of Burlington
  • Town of Halton Hills
  • Town of Milton
  • Town of Oakville
  • Halton District School Board
  • Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Halton Regional Police Service (non-emergency calls)

Why do we need 311?

  • 311 means you don’t need to know which Halton government provides a particular service. You don’t have to sort through dozens of telephone numbers to find the people you need to talk to.
  • 311 also provides an easy-to-remember telephone number for non-emergency police calls which will reduce the burden of non-emergency calls made to 9-1-1.

How does 311 work?

  • 311 calls will be answered by customer service representatives in Access Halton.
  • While 311 is a program of Halton Region, callers will be able to access the programs and services provided by any of the eight partner organizations:
    • Regional and Local Municipal governments
    • Halton Regional Police Service
    • Halton District School Board
    • Halton Catholic District School Board
  • The customer service representatives will use a powerful database of about 1,500 records to respond to your inquiries on a vast array of Halton government services.

What are some examples of 311 calls?

  • reports of potholes
  • questions on site plan applications
  • location and hours of libraries
  • requests to register for parks and recreation programs
  • complaints about parking bylaw infractions
  • reports of stolen property after an event has occurred
  • requests to hire police officers for special events
  • reports of motor vehicle accidents
  • queries on police security checks
  • reports of suspected food poisoning
  • queries about well water
  • requests to book travel health clinic appointments
  • reports of dog bites
  • requests for financial assistance
  • queries on child development
  • queries on road construction projects
  • reports of sewer backup
  • reports of missed garbage collection
  • queries on acceptable items for recycling

What are the hours of operation?

  • You can dial 311 any time and speak to a live person.
  • Regular business hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • After regular business hours, only those of an urgent nature will be handled.

Will 311 work from cell phones, payphones, etc.?

  • Yes.

Can I still call the city or town directly using the ten digit number I have previously used to reach them?

  • Yes, and if you know the name of the person you wish to speak to, you should always call the ten-digit numbers.

Champion Editorial Comments on 3 Bag Limit

Unloading baggage

We fully support Halton Region’s plan to reduce the bi-weekly number of garbage bags residents will be able to place curbside before a user-pay system kicks in.

Next spring (April 1, 2013), residents will be provided with complimentary bag tags to affix to any garbage bags beyond their three-bag limit (currently residents enjoy a six-bag limit) they place at the curb on their regularly-scheduled waste collection day.

Five months later, on September 9, 2013, after having had ample opportunity to monitor and adjust their waste habits, residents will be asked to pay $2 for each tag they affix to garbage bags beyond the three-bag minimum.

There will be some exemptions granted, to those living in townhouses with common collection pile areas, those with diaper/medical condition-related waste as well as a two-week exemption for everyone immediately following the December holiday period.

While some municipalities have similar limits to free waste collection — Durham’s bi-weekly limit is three bags and Peel’s weekly limit is two bags — other municipalities — like Wellington (Guelph) — charge residents for every bag collected on garbage day.

We believe the Region’s tag concept is an incentive for Halton residents to be less wasteful and more thoughtful when deciding what should and shouldn’t get thrown out. The goal is to reduce the amount of Halton waste ending up in the landfill and, by doing so, extending the number of years before the landfill will be full. Regional staff say a three-bag limit could extend the landfill by as much as four years, creating an overall savings of $15 million.

Halton has been a leader in waste diversion among GTA municipalities with a rate of 57 per cent. That success is due, in part, to 85 per cent of homes already placing three garbage bags or less to the curb.

Only five per cent of Halton homes don’t participate in the Blue Box program each week, while 70 per cent of residents have been regular users of GreenCart since its Halton launch in mid-2008.

In order to help Halton homeowners reduce their waste, the Region is also planning to expand its Blue Box program to include mixed plastics like clear clamshells and yogurt and pudding cups, empty steel paint cans and cardboard spiral cans, which are commonly used for products such as refrigerated dough, frozen juices, chips, nuts and other snacks, powdered drink mixes and baby formula, shortening and powdered cleansers.

With this boost to the Blue Box program will come a larger 22-gallon container to hold the additional recyclable items.

Hopefully these initiatives will convince more of us to divert our waste and maintain Halton’s place among the greenest communities in the GTA.

Possible Cedar Head Road Closure Soon

From the Town of Milton website:

Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 11(3) of the Municipal Act, S.O. 2001, Chapter 25, as amended, that Council of the Town of Milton at its meeting to be held in Town Hall, 150 Mary Street, on September 24, 2012 beginning at 7:00 p.m. will consider the adoption of a bylaw(s) authorizing a temporary closure of Cedar Hedge Road between a point 160m north of Laurier Avenue/Croft Avenue to the north limit of the road in order to facilitate pavement improvements and the installation of sanitary sewer, storm sewer and watermains to provide services for future residential development.

The temporary closure will be in effect from October 1, 2012 until December 31, 2012.

Plans detailing the project are available for viewing at The Town of Milton, Engineering Services, 2nd Floor, 150 Mary Street.

On September 24, 2012, Milton Town Council will give consideration to the proposed bylaw. At this meeting, Milton Town Council will hear, in person, or by their counsel, any person who applies to be heard. Persons wishing to be heard must notify the Clerk’s Department in writing, no later than 10 a.m. September 24, 2012. Further information regarding this process can be found at www.milton.ca

You can also email me mike.cluett@milton.ca if you would like more information on how you can have your say.

Quick update on CKSS situation

Im just getting ready to head out to our council meeting tonight but I wanted to update those of you who have emailed or called me in the last few days regarding the situation on Louis St Laurent, the new high school and about 1,200 new students in town.

Here’s an update on the new Craig Kielburger School situation in Ward 6.  As many of you know there have been a few issues since the new school has opened up.

The cafeteria not being available for students has left them with few options and one of those options being walking up Louis St Laurent, hanging out at the Metro mall, and then making their way back to school….leaving a huge mess behind.  The principal will continue to let them know that behaviour should stop going forward, so lets hope the kids listen.

There are also a number of traffic issues we’re facing and town staff has informed me a number of counts for traffic, pedestrians etc will be done very soon to assess what can be done along that route (ie traffic stops, stop signs, lights, etc)  I’ll keep everyone posted when the results come in and this is now a top priority of staff!

Thanks to everyone who emailed/call me with their concerns.

Blue Bins With Lids? Could be coming soon.

Coming up at tomorrow’s Region of Halton Planning & Public Works meeting will be a report on the Blue Box Litter Containment Study.  As some might remember this past spring, there were a number of days that were very windy not only in ward 6 but everywhere in the town of Milton.

During these windy days of spring, a number of people came home daily to piles of recycled waste all over lawns, in parks and along the sides of many roads.  It almost came to be expected that whatever day your garbage was to be collected, the wind would blow it away.

I never really saw it as much of a problem since the Blue Box program began many moons ago, but this time it felt different.  Every week the number of email’s I received would increase.  “Why is the garbage all over the place?” “What is the town going to do with all the flying garbage?”

Garbage collection in Milton is handled by the Region of Halton and after a few windy weeks, it was brought up at Regional Council and hence this report was prepared.

From the report the recommendation is as follows:


1. THAT Council approve the 22 gallon Blue Box as the new standard Blue Box in Halton Region as outlined in Report No. PW-65-12 re: “Blue Box Litter Containment Study”.
 2. THAT Council authorize staff to issue a Request for Proposal for the manufacture and supply of a 22 gallon Blue Box with an affixed lid.

The report outlines a number of different options in order to handle the flying recycling debris problem that Milton has faced over since this past spring, including lids on the blue boxes, accepting recycled materials in clear plastic bags, or going to the “new standard” 22 gallon blue box.

Obviously there will be additional costs to the Region to order, produce and deliver these new 22 gallon Blue Boxes which will be subsidized by taxpayers.

Is this something you feel is needed at this point?  Can the Region provide better communications / instruction to homeowners to better pack their blue boxes in order to avoid this flying debris problem we’re just now facing?

To give you an idea, here’s the financial impact from the report:


Based on the annual average number of Blue Boxes distributed each year, the cost increase as a result of implementing the 22 gallon Blue Box as the new standard is an estimated $28,600 per year.

The annual purchase of 2,000 Blue Boxes with an affixed lid is estimated to be $30,000.

As a result, a total of $58,600 will be incorporated into the 2013 Budget and Business Plan for consideration.

Let me know what you think in the comments or email me mike@mikecluett.ca – on Twitter www.twitter.com/mike_cluettor Facebook!