Public Input Sought to Address Waste Management Challenges

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Pterborough County is eager to find ways to extend the life expectancy of 17 years for the current Bensfort Road landfill by reducing the amount of garbage it receives from Peterborough City and County. The County is considering the implementation of a user-pay system to encourage more diversion through recycling.

According to County records, Cavan Monaghan has the dubious record of being the largest garbage generator per capita in the County, creating more than 237 kg per capita in the first nine months, compared to an average rate of 138 kg per capita across the County. Despite some recent initiatives, there has been limited success in garbage reduction across the township.

The County is considering the implementation of a user pay system next year, where municipalities will receive a waste allowance.  Its value will be based on a formula allocating two bags per week for residential properties and four bags for commercial properties at a fixed weight.  Surcharges will apply to townships exceeding their allotment, penalizing high volume garbage producing municipalities.

All waste collected curbside in the County and in municipal transfer stations is deposited at the Peterborough City and County Waste Management Facility (PCCWMF) otherwise known as the Bensfort landfill site.  This facility is managed by the City of Peterborough but revenues and expenses are shared equally between the City and County of Peterborough.  According to Tara Stephen, Manager of Waste Management for Peterborough County, the facility has a remaining life expectancy of seventeen years, and while that sounds high, establishing a new site has a 10 year lead time.  The prime objective of all County waste management activities is to increase the rate of diversion away from this location to further extend its life.

For the first nine months of 2018, the County experienced a 650 tonne reduction in garbage over 2017 levels, with Cavan Monaghan contributing a 14 tonne reduction during that period.  This pales in comparison to the reduction achieved by Dour-Dummer, whose volumes fell by 550 tonnes in the same period.  They attribute that success to the introduction of a Clear Bag program for residential waste collection.

Further steps are required to make significant inroads in the reduction of waste generated in Cavan Monaghan.  Director of Public Works Wayne Hancock requested Council consider some of the initiatives that have been most effective in neighbouring townships along with some other changes to encourage reuse and recycling and reduce our waste prior to the introduction of financial penalties.

Some of the waste management program changes under consideration are the introduction of a the Douro-Dummer style clear bag program, the elimination of collection costs from the tax levy and introduced a user pay system where each resident pays an amount for each bag of garbage using a bag tag system which has been introduced in Asphodel-Norwood, reducing the frequency of curbside waste collection to biweekly and limiting residential garbage to one bag per week.

Before making any change, the Director asked for a public survey to seek input about current waste management programs and possible changes to the Curbside Collection and Transfer Station Program.   Staff will prepare and administer this survey in the next few months.  KG

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