In an interview with 1310 NEWS, Duncan Bury, the spokesman for Waste Watch Ottawa, talks about the results of his report on Ottawa’s waste management. Bury hopes it will give City council ideas on improving their waste planning process and encourage people to use recycling bins correctly.
According to the study, which was compiled with the help of University of Ottawa graduates, Ottawa is lagging in comparison to other provinces, when it comes to following proper recycling procedures.
“The numbers are pretty conclusive [when looking at] Ottawa’s waste eversion rate, i.e. the amount of waste they divert from disposal compared to the rest of garbage,” says the expert, adding, “We’re only at 41.5% whereas everyone in the rest of the province is at 50%. And if you look at the municipalities with user-pay, they’re a good 10-15 percent points higher than that, in the mid 50s range.”
For the survey, Bury chose to focus on homeowner data only as he feels commercial and multi-residential buildings are “a different can of worms”.
“The City is actually embarking on a project to enhance and improve performance there and municipalities aren’t responsible for the large quantities of commercial institution industrial waste,” he says, before adding, “They maybe pick up a little bit of commercial waste but this is basically a focus on curbside residential.”
Bury wants The City to adopt user-pay system that would make people treat garbage, a lot more like water.
“If my neighbour insists on watering his lawn extensively in the summer and I don’t, that’s not a worry, because he’s paying for the water on his water utility bill, and we’re looking at garbage in the same kind of way,” he says.
The spokesman says user-pay system that limit people to 2 to 3 garbage bags, are already seeing positive results in cities like Toronto, Guelph and Belleville.
Bury says choosing a similar system, could save The City, and in turn it’s residents, a lot of money by helping to cut down on the number of garbage trucks on the road and by extending the life of landfill sites.
“If we can shift stuff out of that waste stream and into that recycling stream, that’s sort of money in the bank frankly,” says Bury.