Revenue from the Region of Peel’s Blue and Grey Box recycling program continue to rise, increasing by 26 per cent in 2004.
Under provincial regulation Ontario municipalities are required to collect certain materials for recycling. The Region has taken an aggressive approach to increasing and improving diversion of recyclable materials by accepting materials beyond the province’s list and finding markets for the items collected in its program.
A recent study conducted by the Region evaluated market conditions for recyclable materials and concluded that current and future markets for items collected as part of the program are strong. In 2004, approximately 95,500 tonnes of recyclable material was collected. Ninety-nine per cent of Grey Box fibre and 80 per cent of Blue Box container material were recovered and marketed.
"The involvement of Peel Region’s residents in the Blue and Grey Box recycling program has been remarkable," says Elaine Moore, Chair of the Public Works Committee. "Participation rates have increased to the point where the amount of recyclable material collected is straining our current processing capacity."
The Region is constructing a single-stream processing system for recovering recyclable materials at the new Peel Integrated Waste Management Facility. This new system will accommodate current and future processing demands. Located in Brampton, the new material recovery system will be operational in November 2005 with the capacity to process 130,000 tonnes of recyclable material per year. It will replace the current Fewster material recovery facility in Mississauga.
"Peel Region’s Blue and Grey Box recycling program is among the most comprehensive in Ontario, accepting a wide range of materials," says Andrew Pollock, Director of Waste Management. "Products like metal containers, plastic bottles and newspaper and fine paper are highly marketable and contribute greatly to the success of the program."
Historically, some of the recyclable materials collected as part of the Region’s Blue Box program have been difficult to market. For example, broken glass has limited end markets. However, the Region of Peel is currently involved in a GTA wide procurement process with Stewardship Ontario to establish a sustainable market for this material. Additionally, plastic bags have been difficult to market due to unstable markets and limited sorting capability. Peel’s new sorting facility will have the ability to more effectively sort plastic bags and produce a cleaner material to meet market specifications. Due to increasingly stable market conditions, plastic bags can now be marketed for revenue.
For more information, go to www.peelregion.ca