Markham Council has unanimously approved the Town-wide implementation of a new three-stream waste management system. Council passed the unanimous motion approving the program at its meeting on April 27. The announcement of the new three-stream program in Markham was made at the 24th Annual Conference of the Recycling Council of Ontario on May 5 in Markham.
“The Town of Markham is a leader in waste management, with one of the highest diversion rates in Ontario. Mission Green is an aggressive attack on household waste,” says Mayor Don Cousens. “Council will be setting an aggressive target, looking at more than a 60 per cent reduction in residential waste.”
“Markham is the first municipality in York Region to launch this new program. We are building on the success of two pilot projects in eastern Markham,” says Regional Councillor Jack Heath, who was the lead on these projects while the Ward 5 councillor from 2000-2003. “When we created these pilot projects, we had an unprecedented 99 percent participation rate by the households involved. The three-stream approach means we are building on these successful projects. It means there will be a major diversion from landfill.
Three-stream waste management means disposing of kitchen organics, recyclables and garbage in separate ways.
Deputy Mayor Frank Scarpitti, a member of the three-stream team, says “Markham Council has been working to develop a three-stream waste management system for several years. It has conducted extensive research and developed pilot projects, in consultation with the public and the Region of York. We have been involved at the Town and Regional levels to create this new system.”
The first phase of Markham’s Mission Green begins in September 2004 involving 15,000 households, in eastern Markham. The second phase will be rolled out to the remaining Town households – about 55,000 in September 2005. As this program is ‘rolled out’ there will be education materials, including a CD-ROM, included in each organics bin delivered. The Town will be creating this material in several languages to reflect the multicultural aspects of its residents.
Under the three-stream program, every residence will receive a green cart and a kitchen container that will be used for organic waste. At the same time, Markham will be expanding its blue box program. The Town will be working with York Region to have one of the most progressive blue box recycling programs in all of Ontario. Also, the Town’s recycling depots, which have been in operation since the 1970s, will continue to be an important part of the daily life of Markham residents.
“Markham leads the way when it comes to making the environment better for all. One of the Town’s corporate goals is for it to continue to have an environmental focus. This new program allows us to meet the needs and expectations of the community in a financially responsible manner,” says Chair of Environmental Issues Committee Councillor Erin Shapero.
Information about the three-stream program will be provided through an all-encompassing education campaign, including print, the Town’s website, a CD-ROM video, public information meetings, presentations at special events and to community and school groups. Residents will also be informed of changes in how waste is picked up, including changes in weekly collection of organics and recyclables.
For more information, contact Claudia Marsales, Manager, Waste Management at 905-477-7000 ext. 3560