Tag Archives: garbage

Smells, Peels, Poop and Pop Cans, Part 4 of Waste Management, My Second Priority for the next term of Regional Council

Pop Cans.

My Pledge: I will continue to monitor the costs of recyclables and work towards better solutions for waste management.

This post will be a little shorter. Perhaps I should make Waste Management my number one priority for the next term. So much to do in this file.

Recycling is a big success in Waterloo Region. People are great at putting out their pop cans, water bottles, newspaper, paper, tin cans, and brush for recycling. It is helping the landfill last longer and we reuse metals and paper.

The problem with recycling is the cyclical nature of remuneration for recyclables. Glass is no longer sent out to be recycled as the Region would have to pay to have it taken away. The market has tanked. However, please keep putting glass in your blue box,  the province requires it to be collected. The glass is crushed and used on roads in the landfill site. It isn’t put into the landfill.

The end of the recession means the market for recyclables is now improving again.

In case you might think that the Region never asks the public to engage or make suggestions, here is the results of a survey of residents about recycling.

Public Comments about Recycling

General information about recycling

Waste Management Part 1

Waste Management Part 2

Waste Management Part 3

Smells, Peels, Poop and Pop Cans, Part 2 about Waste Management, My Second Priority

Peels

My pledge: I will continue to listen to your concerns and work on ways to make your green bin better to use. I will find ways to make the green bin a better bet for your tax dollar.

“If the people of Waterloo had to rotate living throughout Waterloo, they would all use their green bins,” the lady at the door in Westvale said.

That recent smell from the landfill is from disturbed organics. The very organics that can go in your green bin. They also create the methane that needs to be burned off or used as fuel by Toromont, a company at the landfill.

compost container.

Councillor Jean Haalboom’s lovely compost container

If people use their green bins, the old leftovers, peelings and even dog poo and cat litter, will be sent to the Guelph composting plant to be turned into soil. Like the aged manure you can buy at the garden store to fertilize your plants, this soil will never smell again and it’s great for farmland and gardens. It’s not just a case of helping the landfill last longer, though that is good, you will also be helping your neighbour’s quality of life.

My family has reduced the “yuk” factor by using the new biodegradable plastic bags. They can be bought at Basics or Canadian Tire and other stores. They must have a certain symbol on them. On twitter and in discussion with constituents, ideas have ranged from freezing peelings until collection day to putting egg cartons on the bottom of the pail to prevent bags from sticking. Here is a fantastic page from the Region of Waterloo website that gives tons of information about using your green bin.

http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/aboutTheEnvironment/Green_Bin_Organics.asp

 

There has been some criticism in the paper about the cost of the green bin contact. You should know that the green bin pilot was a great success. People were phoning up the region wondering when they would get their green bin. Then came the roll out and a lack of response. The current contract was the lowest cost option but only if people use their bin.

Next term, council must decide whether to have green bin and recycling every week with regular garbage every other week or bag tags or other ideas to increase use.

People have also suggested less pick up stops with several houses putting their garbage in one spot to save money. Lots to think about.

Waste Management Part 1

Waste Management Part 3

Waste Management Part 4

 

 

 

Smells, peels, poop and pop cans. Part 1 about Waste Management, My Second Priority.

Smells

My pledge: I will work with Waste Management on more ways to make the landfill a good neighbour. I will continue to listen and respond to smell reports.

The last few weeks as I go door to door or receive phone calls and emails, I have been getting complaints about the smell of the landfill. Smells do come and go from a landfill, but these are pretty bad.

I am part of the landfill liaison committee that meets quarterly to discuss issues at the landfill. I’m also part of the Waste Management Master Plan committee.

There are two things going on at the landfill site that are potentially generating odours. There is construction of a new cell in the south area of the site where waste is being excavated as part of the new cell and the collection of landfill gas is slightly less than usual.  Staff is working to increase the landfill gas collection.

The Region capped the finished slopes in the north expansion area. There is also additional landfill gas piping being added.  Unfortunately all these works have been hampered by all the rain this fall.

Staff is increasing the use of a portable mister and odour masking granules, but like in your bathroom, these can only cover up the smell. The additional gas collection wells are supposed to be online now. A portable flare to get rid of the methane is up and working to capture additional gas.

I sure hope this will be completely done by the time the election comes and goes!

Here is some information about the landfill and the liaison committee which is a public meeting held quarterly. About the Landfill

The Region is not planning to close the landfill for the next fifteen or twenty years. It is politically impossible to open a new landfill in the Region of Waterloo.  As the people presently near the landfill can understand, no one wants a landfill near them.

The Waste Management Master Plan is looking at a waste to energy solution (also known as an incinerator). Also controversial. This will be very expensive and may be built in conjunction with other places like Guelph or London.

Here is the Waste Management Master Plan.  

People have said close the landfill and truck it to Michigan. This is irresponsible when we still have capacity. Not to mention, have you seen the ads for vacationing in the countryside of Michigan? Is it ethical for us to send polluting trucks with our garbage to an impoverished state instead of dealing with it ourselves?

Waste Management Part 2

Waste Management Part 3

Waste Management Part 4

Our Green Bin program isn’t like Toronto’s

The Toronto Star had a big article yesterday on the huge mess Toronto’s green bin program is in (This is besides the garbage strike) http://www.thestar.com/article/660864 for details.

I should tell you that Toronto’s green bin problems are common knowledge in the waste biz. Many private contractors who compost green waste won’t take their garbage while they want Waterloo Region’s compost.

The main problem is that Toronto lets people put their green compost in plastic bags, mostly the infamous plastic shopping bag. Toronto says they allowed plastic bags so more people would compost. That makes no sense at all if you can’t compost the result!  We insist that people use paper compostable bags –kraft bags, similiar to those used to pick up leaf waste. We also do not accept disposable diapers. The problem is the plastic in the waste stream. Garbage rots quickly and the plastic contaminates the compost so it is unusable.

This is one reason why we are rolling out our program slowly. So when we do it, it will work!

By the way, for regular household garbage, you can get garbage bags made of cornstarch and can use the kraft bags also. A report on plastic shopping bag education is coming back to Regional council in the fall.

We recently had the Record note that our compost is going to Thorold. We have investigated building our own composting facility but it would cost 30 to 40 milion dollars and there would still be smell problems. I recently visited a composting facility in Whistler, but it was noted by the manager, that this facility is kilometers away from residents.

We were going to send the compost to a facility just outside Waterloo Region but it didn’t work out so now we are into another tender with hopes the new facility won’t be too far away.

Landfill and waste is a serious problem because no matter what you do, sometimes it smells. And no one wants one near them. But what is the alternative? Many communities are going to incineration, but that also has problems.

I am asking staff about one problem noted in the Star article. Household waste compost can be very salty due to the huge amount of salt we have in our diet.  Supposedly if it is properly cured there isn’t a problem. Will keep you posted.

All about the green program and what can go in it, is listed here.

http://www.region.waterloo.on.ca/web/region.nsf/97dfc347666efede85256e590071a3d4/f853783700a202418525726e007445ba!OpenDocument

Our Green Bin program isn't like Toronto's

The Toronto Star had a big article yesterday on the huge mess Toronto’s green bin program is in (This is besides the garbage strike) http://www.thestar.com/article/660864 for details.

I should tell you that Toronto’s green bin problems are common knowledge in the waste biz. Many private contractors who compost green waste won’t take their garbage while they want Waterloo Region’s compost.

The main problem is that Toronto lets people put their green compost in plastic bags, mostly the infamous plastic shopping bag. Toronto says they allowed plastic bags so more people would compost. That makes no sense at all if you can’t compost the result!  We insist that people use paper compostable bags –kraft bags, similiar to those used to pick up leaf waste. We also do not accept disposable diapers. The problem is the plastic in the waste stream. Garbage rots quickly and the plastic contaminates the compost so it is unusable.

This is one reason why we are rolling out our program slowly. So when we do it, it will work!

By the way, for regular household garbage, you can get garbage bags made of cornstarch and can use the kraft bags also. A report on plastic shopping bag education is coming back to Regional council in the fall.

We recently had the Record note that our compost is going to Thorold. We have investigated building our own composting facility but it would cost 30 to 40 milion dollars and there would still be smell problems. I recently visited a composting facility in Whistler, but it was noted by the manager, that this facility is kilometers away from residents.

We were going to send the compost to a facility just outside Waterloo Region but it didn’t work out so now we are into another tender with hopes the new facility won’t be too far away.

Landfill and waste is a serious problem because no matter what you do, sometimes it smells. And no one wants one near them. But what is the alternative? Many communities are going to incineration, but that also has problems.

I am asking staff about one problem noted in the Star article. Household waste compost can be very salty due to the huge amount of salt we have in our diet.  Supposedly if it is properly cured there isn’t a problem. Will keep you posted.

All about the green program and what can go in it, is listed here.

http://www.region.waterloo.on.ca/web/region.nsf/97dfc347666efede85256e590071a3d4/f853783700a202418525726e007445ba!OpenDocument