Kingstonians diverted 13 per cent more residential waste from landfill in 2010 than 2009 according to Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO).
Kingston’s 55 per cent total diversion rate in 2010 puts the city at the top of its class in Ontario beating out municipalities like Peterborough, North Bay and Sudbury (Kingston is in the Rural Regional category). “Our diversion goals are ambitious, but this 13 per cent improvement in one year is dramatic and speaks to how well our strategies are working,” says John Giles, Manager of Solid Waste.
He credits the dramatic improvement to a number of factors:
- 2010 was the first full year for the Green Bin program (introduced in April 2009).
- The introduction of educational tools and materials such as the award-winning Waste Lookup tool and the Trim Your Waste Guide. Residents can look for an updated Waste Sorting Guide early in 2012.
- Enthusiastic recycling by residents.
- Of the 55.16 per cent of residential waste diverted from landfill 26 per cent is attributed to the Green Bin program and 21 per cent to recycling. Kingstonians threw out just over 160 kilograms of garbage per person in 2009 but diverted almost 200 kilograms.
- The City has just received its 2010 Waste Diversion Ontario diversion numbers. The numbers for 2011 will not be available until 2012. The 2011 numbers will reflect the expansion of the Blue Box program, which now accepts all rigid plastic food and beverage containers. Kingston has an ambitious goal to divert 65 per cent of its residential waste from landfill during 2012. Kingstonians will not know whether that goal is reached until December of 2013.
Here’s how residents can help improve the 2011 diversion number over the holidays:
- Give your gifts a good wrap. Conventional wrapping paper cannot be recycled because it contains too much coloured ink and dye and is a fire hazard if burned (because it reaches too high a temperature too quickly). That means most wrapping paper is garbage and ends up in landfill. Prefer re-usable or recyclable gift wrap.
- Buy less packaging. Less packaging means less garbage. When possible, choose gifts with little or no packaging. You can now recycle rigid plastic packaging – the blister packagings often used for electronics, children’s toys and hardware – in your Blue Box along with all your plastic food and beverage containers.
- Compost your Christmas tree. Christmas trees can be dropped off at the Kingston Area Recycling Centre (KARC), 196 Lappan’s Lane, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at Norterra Organics – the company that composts the City’s Green Bin contents – at 2069 Joyceville Rd., Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Make sure no tinsel or decorations remain on the tree.
- Green Bin your leftovers. Once everyone has had their fill of holiday feasting, toss leftovers, soiled paper towels and paper plates in the Green Bin.
Media contact information: Cindie Ashton, Communications Officer, 613-546-4291, extension 3116 (cell 329-3462). Or call the City of Kingston’s media hotline at 613-546-4291, ext 2300.