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Markham targets 70 per cent waste diversion

On July 5, 2004 the Town of Markham, Ontario launched the first phase of a new "3-stream" residential col...


On July 5, 2004 the Town of Markham, Ontario launched the first phase of a new "3-stream" residential collection program that will include organics. Mayor Don Cousens announced Markham will aggressively target a waste diversion rate of 70 per cent one of the highest diversion targets in Ontario.

The new 3-stream collection system is one component of a comprehensive waste management plan called "Mission Green," which includes enhancements to the Blue Box recycling program. The Mayor said that 3-Stream will cut the number of transport trailer loads of Markham garbage going to Michigan landfill sites by an additional 656 trucks or 21,000 tonnes of garbage annually.

Citing Markham as a leader in innovative waste management programs, Deputy Mayor Frank Scarpitti noted that "fewer trucks means less greenhouse gas emissions and a healthier environment for the residents of Markham and Ontario." Markham is the first York Region municipality to take significant steps to reduce the amount of waste requiring disposal. All members of Markham council support this project.

The kitchen organics collection program will see residents separate their household waste into three streams: recyclables into their blue boxes; kitchen organics into a new "green bin" and residue waste into garbage bags or bins. It will be rolled out in two phases. The first phase of 12,000 single family households located east of Markham Road (Hwy. 48) will begin this September. Phase two will be introduced to the balance of the town in 2005. Each household will be given a small green bin on wheels to set out organics at the curb, along with a kitchen counter container and detailed instructional information. Markham will also add materials to the blue box collection system concurrent with each additional phase.

"Markham’s waste management program is a new way to look at garbage and a new way of looking at how to collect it and divert it," said Regional Councillor Jack Heath, chair of Markham’s 3-Stream Project Team. "It will set the standard for York, for Ontario and for Canada."

In 2003, Markham’s diverted 35 per cent of its residential waste (27,203 tonnes) through blue box recycling, leaf and yard waste composting, backyard composting, a ban on grass clippings, a recycling depot and appliance recycling programs. With the implementation of the "3-Stream" program, an additional 21,000 tonnes of garbage will be diverted annually.

For more information, contact:

Technical: Claudia Marsales, Manager, Waste Manager, 905-477-7000, ext. 3560

Media: Marjorie Rebane, Corporate Communications, 905-479-7754


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