by Cecilia Naismith
Long-standing plans for Northumberland County to begin collecting organics as part of its waste-diversion efforts should reach fruition in 2019.
A press release from the county said that the long-term goal is a 75% waste diversion from the local landfill. The new green-bin organics colleciton program, as well as the transition to a two-stream recycling program (to replace the current one-stream one) will further the implementation of the county's 2014 Long Term Waste Management Master Plan.
“The contents of the average household garbage bag are 60% organic waste,” county director of transportation and waste Mo Pannu said in the bulletin.
“With the introduction of this green bin program, and a corresponding change in the weekly garbage collection limit to two bags per household, we anticipate diverting a minimum of 3,000 tonnes of waste annually from our landfill, ultimately expanding its lifespan.”
In addition to the green bin program, the current one-stream recycling program will be transitioned into a dual-stream program that allows for the separation of paper materials from household containers. This program will require residents to sort their recyclables to separate out paper materials that will go into a grey bin. Household containers (including plastic bottles, cans and cartons) will still go into the blue bin.
The separation of these products at the collection stage minimizes contamination, allowing for more efficient sorting and the production of higher-quality recyclable material for resale.
County warden Mark Lovshin said this development is an important and highly anticipated next step in the waste-management master plan roll-out.
“With a mission to be a best-practices leader, Northumberland County continues to explore innovative approaches to the way we manage our waste in order to increase diversion and foster improved sustainability for our community,” Lovshin said.
The dual-stream recycling and green bin programs will be implemented in September 2019, and will follow the regular garbage and recycling collection schedule. The green, grey and blue bins used for the programs will be delivered to residents by Northumberland County in the summer of 2019 - however, if residents wish to use their own bins, they may purchase a bin and properly identify the materials with a label.