Solid Waste & Recycling

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Rolling to Reduce: Pickering's Cart Pilot

On December 11, 2001, the City of Pickering, Ontario, together with partners Durham Region, Miller Waste, the Town of Markham and CSR: Corporations Supporting Recycling, hosted a live demonstration of...


On December 11, 2001, the City of Pickering, Ontario, together with partners Durham Region, Miller Waste, the Town of Markham and CSR: Corporations Supporting Recycling, hosted a live demonstration of the city’s “Rolling to Reduce” pilot project. The three-stream, cart-based waste management initiative aims to achieve a 65 per cent diversion rate — a major increase from 27 per cent before the pilot was activated. Since the pilot, the average weekly diversion rate has reached 63 per cent.

Said Regional Councillor Maurice Brenner, “With Keele Valley landfill scheduled to close in 2002 and the possibility of the U.S. closing its border to Canadian waste we must, now more than ever, be creative and set a higher bench mark to divert more waste from landfill.”

The pilot project expands on the goals of the blue box program by including organics and increased recyclables.

On April 2, 2002, City Council voted to extend the project to December 31. This additional period of time will provide staff with the opportunity to study the cart-based system during the summer months, when such issues as odours and animals may become a problem.

The project requires two wheeled carts: the Compostainer cart for organics from SSI Schaefer System International Ltd. and a split cart for recycling and garbage provided by Bonar.

The organics cart is used to collect kitchen food scraps (including all meat and fish, dairy products, vegetables and fruits and coffee grounds) and yard trimmings (plants and leaves but no grass or branches). The split cart is used for newspapers, corrugated boxes, glass bottles, tetra pak, all plastic bottles (but no motor oil jugs), aerosol cans, and more.

The collection trucks are equipped with a mechanical arm to automatically pick-up the carts and empty their contents.

The region expects to fully recover costs of the program, including the cost of new trucks, within 5-10 years.

According to Stephen Brake, coordinator of waste management, the cost recovery could occur much sooner, when including “the sale of compost, the recycling of additional materials, fewer and more efficient trucks, less operators and the overall need to landfill much less.”

A recent survey indicates that over 80 per cent of respondents found the system easier to use than traditional bags and blue boxes and that the majority of residents wanted to continue participating in the project if was extended.

For further information, contact Stephen Brake at 905-420-4660, ext. 2064 or sbrake@city.pickering.on.ca.


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