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Ottawa adds pics to struggling park recycling pilot


After a less than successful city park recycling pilot project in summer 2017, the City of Ottawa is modifying the same recycling pilot project to include pictorial signage for summer 2018.

According to April 24 correspondence with Ottawa’s Environment and Climate Protection Committee, the modified pilot will include placing co-located recycling bins with every waste bin in approximately 50 parks.

Each bin location will feature pictorial signage depicting what materials can go in the recycling bin. Based on the information gained from the pilot, staff will determine the best way to implement a full-scale parks recycling program,” states the city document.

Examples of the recycling signage have not yet been revealed.

In 2017, Public Works and Environmental Services placed blue bin recycling at seven high-usage parks, but found that a limited amount of recyclables were collected at these locations and that “many of the recyclables were contaminated with food and dog waste.”

The recycling carts were located in nearby parking lots to allow for easy collection by the waste collection contractor and minimize collection costs, but based on the pilot results, city staff believe that the location of the carts may have reduced uptake of the program.

As stated, the modified pilot program will co-locate the recycling bins with every waste bin in approximately 50 parks.

On March 28, city council approved an enhanced green bin program that allows organic waste in plastic bags and dog waste to be included in the green bin program. A pilot project to determine the feasibility of collecting dog waste from 10 parks for the 2019 summer season was approved. Staff will evaluate whether there is a reduction in the contamination of recyclables if residents have the option of disposing their dog waste in the appropriate receptacle.

News of the modified park recycling pilot program came in response to a question from River Ward Coun. Riley Brockington, submitted in October 2017, about how Ottawa could “significantly increase the collection of recyclables” in parks.


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