Tuesday, October 2, 2007

More on Blue Box Recycling

At the candidates forum last night there were some questions on blue box recycling. I've posted on the issue before and I'm running a poll on the right hand side of the site. Aquatera has been looking at the considering the possibilities for recycling locally. In fact there is a lot of recycling info in the company's website.

The company's Solid Waste Master Plan has some detailed information on the different levels of service that the community could consider. These include a range of four options from maintaining/improving the current depot system all the way up to "Maximum Diversion". Each option will have a different cost above and beyond what we pay now but each will also offer the ability to divert more from the landfill.

From the Solid Waste Master Plan:

"Options for Single Family Collection
Four single-family residential collection options are presented for consideration, with varying levels of diversion potential, but also varying costs to provide the collection service. The four options are described below. For all the options, the Eco Centre and Landfill Drop-Off (for yard waste and recyclable materials) would be maintained.

1. Enhanced Depot Focus: Includes curbside garbage collection, seasonal curbside yard waste collection and depot-based recycling. In addition to Grande Prairie, this type of collection system exists in Lethbridge, Calgary, Medicine Hat, and Kamloops, BC. Under this option, the current system can be enhanced by expanding the number of recycling depots and using promotion, education and demand-side management tool such as reduced weekly bag limits to encourage waste diversion.

2. Curbside Focus: Includes curbside garbage, curbside recycling, and seasonal curbside yard waste collection. This type of system is in place in Red Deer, Hamilton (Ontario) and many municipalities in British Columbia including Vancouver and Burnaby.

3. Organics Focus: Includes curbside garbage, curbside collection of source-separated organics (SSO), seasonal curbside yard waste collection, depot-based recycling. We are not aware of any municipalities with a system currently in place that provides curbside organics collection with depot-based recycling.

4. Maximum Diversion: Includes curbside garbage, curbside recycling, curbside collection of source-separated organics (SSO), seasonal curbside yard waste collection. This type of system is in place in Halifax, San Francisco and several Ontario municipalities including Guelph, Markham, Etobicoke and Toronto.

Analysis of the existing program suggests that the current diversion rate for the single family sector may be as high as 33%. Further analysis of the four options indicates that there is the potential to increase single-family waste diversion by 13% to 23%, depending on which option is selected. The summary of diversion potential is presented in Table 1-6 below. [Current Diversion, Additional Diversion and Total Recycling Potential are all expressed in tonnes]

OptionCurrent Diversion RateAdditional DiversionTotal Recycling PotentialFamily Recycling RateNet Additional Recycling
Current Program3,123-3,12333%-
Enhanced Depot-1,2544,37749%13%
Curbside Option-1,5504,67349%16%
Organics Option-1,9455,06853%20%
Maximum Diversion-2,2415,36456%23%

So, that's some of the background work that the folks at Aquatera have been doing. Of course at this point the information doesn't include costs and that is an important part of the equation. When costs are available the thing the community, and members of city council will have to ask themselves is how much are we willing to pay to move from 33% to 56% diversion of waste from going to the landfill.

What do you think? Use the "Comments" link below to leave me some feedback.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would like to see things like newspapers, & plastic/glass bottles, at the curbside. All households would beable to easily reduce landfill trash that way. The depots are well used from what I can see.


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