The City of Kingston, Ontario will be able to operate a more efficient and lower cost residential recycling program as a result of two grants totaling $390,000 it will receive from Stewardship Ontario (SO), SO’s CEO Damian Bassett has announced.One grant of $44,000 is earmarked to expand the size of the city’s material recycling facility (MRF) where recyclables are processed for shipment to market. The expansion will increase the size of the “tipping” floor where recyclables are unloaded and the area where the baled materials are stored before they are shipped to market.The other grant of $346,000 will be used to purchase new processing equipment featuring better technology that will be used to separate and compress various recyclable materials into bales.The savings to the city in improved efficiency will exceed $30,000 annually on an ongoing basis, estimates John Giles, Kingston’s Manager of Solid Waste.The plant upgrade also will permit Kingston to process recyclables for the Township of South Frontenac. The township will realize potential cost savings of over $100,000 annually when it starts to use Kingston’s expanded facility for processing next month. The city also processes recyclables for Loyalist Township.”Kingston’s MRF has been operating at capacity for nearly four years and that has prevented the city from effecting certain efficiencies that contribute to lower overall operation costs. With these funds, Kingston can implement renovations to the plant that will make it possible for both Kingston and South Frontenac to reduce program costs. Lower costs are important to both municipalities and to industry who share the net cost of blue box recycling programs,” Mr. Bassett said.Stewardship Ontario is an industry funding organization, operating under the provincial Waste Diversion Act, 2002, that collects fees from companies who produce packaging and printed paper that are managed through Ontario’s municipal residential waste system. Stewardship Ontario distributes the funds to Ontario municipalities on behalf of these companies to help pay for the cost of operating blue box recycling programs. When the payments for the 2006 program year are made to municipalities, industry’s total contribution to the cost of municipal blue box programs will be close to $130 million.The grants come from Stewardship Ontario’s Effectiveness and Efficiency (E&E) Fund which comprises 10 per cent of the fees collected from the obligated companies. The goals of the E&E Fund are to reduce the net cost of municipal recycling in Ontario, to increase overall waste diversion and to build capacity for sustainable recycling. Sixty-two municipal projects across the province have received grants totaling $11.8 million since the E&E Fund was launched in July, 2004. Reports from several of these projects are available online at www.stewardshipontario.caSince the E&E program began, Kingston has received funding for three projects totaling approximately $440,000.With the latest grant, Kingston will purchase and install an eddy current separator which will permit speedier separation of aluminum cans on the sorting line; two can flatteners which will add to overall space savings; and a new baler which will reduce downtime, improve maintenance costs and increase bale density — all of which are likely to increase recycling program revenues.In addition to the funding provided by Stewardship Ontario, BFI Canada Ltd., the city’s recycling contractor has agreed to contribute $125,000 to the overall cost of the project.”Taken together, these changes mean we’ll be able to process more recyclables, to store them inside to prevent degradation and to process some recyclables from South Frontenac,” said Giles.Contact John Giles, Solid Waste Manager, City of Kingston, 546-4291 ext. 2701.