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Organics diversion program a success, but still room for improvement

March 9, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The County of Simcoe has reached a milestone in its organics (green cart) collection program.

More than 200,000 tonnes of organic material from Simcoe County households and business has been collected since 2008, saving the equivalent of four years of local landfill capacity and offering countless environmental benefits.

In 2008, the County became an early adopter in the province by offering weekly curbside organics collection. During the past 15 years, the program has seen steady growth in participation, with the highest increase being seen since the move to bi-weekly recycling/garbage collection in 2020.

Removing organic materials from the regular garbage stream provides many environmental benefits, including conserving valuable landfill capacity, turning waste material into usable compost or soil amendments, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s the small things we do each day that often have the largest impact, and we truly thank our residents and businesses for doing your part to help us reach this milestone,” said County Warden Basil Clarke. “Working with our residents and businesses, we’ve made huge progress towards a greener, more sustainable future, reducing the emissions to the equivalent of 4,000 vehicles off our roads each year, which is no small achievement. Thank you for your efforts, but don’t stop here as there is still room to grow your green cart!”

During a recent county council meeting, staff brought forward a report that further demonstrated the regional commitment to diversion. Recent municipal Datacall figures placed the county second out of all participating municipalities, with an overall residential waste diversion rate of more than 64 per cent.

“Our team is very proud of reaching 200,000 tonnes of organics collected and continuing to be recognized among municipal leaders in diversion and waste management practices,” said Rob McCullough, director of solid waste management at the County of Simcoe. “However, we are always striving to offer innovative programs and education that will help decrease the quantity of waste going to landfill in Simcoe County. Our most recent waste audit show that we still have room for improvement, with opportunity to continue to properly sort. Over 50 per cent of the materials by weight in our garbage could still be diverted easily in our existing other programs, the majority of this is organics.”

Common items that staff often see in garbage carts that should go in organics carts include edible food, food scraps, soiled paper items like paper towels and tissues, and pet waste.

Residents are encouraged to use up edible food before disposing of it. However, food should always go in the green cart if there is no other option.


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