Following years of separating recycling into two streams, Muskoka residents will soon be able to place all of their recyclables into one container.
District staff announced at the April 19 District engineering and public works committee meeting that single-stream recycling collection would begin on Monday, June 6.
“Traditionally, the District has had what is referred to as a two-stream blue box program, that is separation of our paper products and our containers,” explained Stephanie Mack, the District’s director of waste management and environmental services. “We have been able, since the new contract last April, to handle material that is mixed together. So some residents may have noticed that we have put it in the same truck, and that was really to get material off the street. So this is just the official change.”
The change will allow for more efficient curbside collection, with fewer trucks and drivers, she noted.
In response to a question from Councillor Paul Wiancko regarding blue bins contaminated with other materials, which in the past would result in the entire lot being sent to landfill, Mack said that staff would be working to communicate to residents what can and can’t be recycled in Muskoka.
“Obviously, [contaminated recycling is]impactful on our bottom line, and it’s also not good for the environment. That is material that is actually ultimately landfilled, that we’re sending down to the GTA, it’s being pulled off the line and it’s going to landfill,” she said. “So things like coat hangers and garden hoses and window blinds…those are materials that we are actually seeing and that is being landfilled as contamination ultimately.”
The change to single-stream recycling will also apply to transfer sites—residents can put all of their recycling into one bag, rather than having to separate it.
Councillor Brian Thompson wondered about large cardboard, like the boxes appliances are delivered in.
“We are still going to be looking at the best way to manage material at the sites to ensure that we obviously provide a convenient service but are able to haul that efficiently back to the transfer station,” said Mack.
For information on what can and can’t be recycled, visit muskokarecycles.ca.
Stay tuned for more information from the District on the launch of single-stream recycling.
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