Improvement made in diversion of Peterborough County waste from landfill

·2 min read

Diversion of waste away from the county-city landfill continues to increase, Peterborough County councillors heard at their regular council meeting Wednesday.

Staff reported 51 per cent of waste in Peterborough County went to blue boxes for recycling, organic pickup or other means of diversion compared to 39 per cent in 2010.

Every year staff must submit a report to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority, the regulator mandated by the province to enforce its renewable energy laws.

The report is a summary of data on diversion activities for construction and demolition waste, hazardous waste and electronics recycling, the blue box program and organics and leaf and yard waste.

The data is used to to allocate funding from the province for the county’s blue box program, which usually amounts to around 50 per cent of the total cost of delivering the program, Catrina Switzer, Waste Management Administration Coordinator told council.

The funding for the 2020 reporting year to be paid in 2022-23 is $1,398,821.

Blue box funding to be received for the 2022 reporting year will be reported to municipalities by the end of 2022 for payment through 2023 to 2024, she said.

The county’s waste management master plan sets long-term goals for diversion achievements to be reached by 2030 and staff noted the county is “progressing toward those goals.”

Some of the 10 goals have already been achieved in certain areas — blue box depot containers, scrap metal, construction — and most goal results have increased significantly over the past eight years, said the staff report.

Depot garbage tonnages have been “dramatically reduced” by the implementation of clear bags for garbage in Trent Lakes in 2017, in Douro Dummer and Asphodel-Norwood townships in 2018, Cavan Monaghan Township in 2019 and Otonabee-South Monaghan Township in 2020, the report continued.

Further reductions in depot garbage occurred in 2021 with the implementation of clear bags for garbage in North Kawartha and Havelock-Belmont-Methuen townships.

The introduction of clear bags for garbage allows depot staff and curbside collectors to see hazardous and blue box materials which are banned from landfill, which encourages residents to use diversion programs in their townships and through county partnerships such as the city’s Pido Road facility for hazardous waste and electronics, staff said.

Residents are therefore encouraged to utilize the diversion programs in place within their township or available through county partnerships such as the city’s Pido Road facility for hazardous waste and electronics.

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at bburke@metroland.com.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner

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