WASTE REDUCTION – WE LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Municipalities all across Canada are affected by waste management issues every day. Reducing the amount of waste produced in a municipality is beneficial for a number of reasons:
- It reduces the need for landfill space
- Saves the community money by reducing disposal costs
- Cuts down on greenhouse gas production
- Saves valuable natural resources
October 17-23 2022 is Waste Reduction Week
Council has declared this week as Waste Reduction Week in Gananoque. It’s an annual event held to help reduce more waste and to bring more public education and awareness to reducing waste.
The Town is asking residents and businesses to take part and reduce waste through different actions – curbside giveaway day, recycle, repurpose, share, donate, compost – actions to keep waste out of the landfills. With that ask, it is important for Staff to lead by example and to continue to reduce waste and plan for additional ways to do the same.
Waste Reduction Current Practices:
As a whole, Town Departments currently reduce waste and divert from the waste stream with:
- Blue box recycling programs at all offices, buildings, parks and special events
- Breaking down containers to conserve space
- Moving towards eliminating the use of single use plastics by using as many paper products as possible
- Limiting printing as much as possible
- Re-using paper as notepads
- Purchasing in bulk and using reusable containers to eliminate added materials
- Promoting minimal packaging
- Reusing signs as much as possible
- Using rechargeable batteries where possible
- Reuses wood on docks and plastic throughout the marina wherever possible
- Offers a boater’s yard sale at the beginning of each season so boaters are able to repurpose no longer needed items to others, as well offering a free swap program
- Offers complimentary potable water taps so boaters and staff can refill water bottles
- Hires a company to collect weeds, which are removed and composted by the harvester company
- Works with a revised garbage policy, limiting our waste bins for garbage collected from our boaters only (from the experience of boating) and do not allow boaters that live/visit island residents to dispose of “residential garbage” in our bins.
- Encourages customers to participate in waste reduction strategies
Parks and Recreation currently:
- Works under their new recycling program with the addition of blue boxes at the Arena
- Provides additional recycling totes to include fibres and containers at all municipal buildings
Special Events currently
- Restrict the use of single use plastics at Special Events. The updated Facility Booking Policy restricts the use of single use plastics and requires each applicant to add in the application their plan for how the event will use only biodegradable/compostable cups, straws, utensils, plates, tickets, etc.
- Provides water refilling stations to reduce the use of single use plastic bottles
Economic Development currently:
- Purchases items for events that can be re-used for future events
- Reduces the amount of paper provided to new businesses and focuses on online support materials
- Purchases items that are recyclable for events
- Re-uses old signage by updating with stickers and decals
STAFF’S WASTE REDUCTION PLAN:
The Roads Division plans to reduce more waste by recycling all items that can be recycled and by using clear bags to encourage even more recycling;
The Utilities Division plans to do more doubled-sided printing (when printing is necessary) and use scrap paper for notes and reduce the need for post-it notes;
The Waste Division plans to increase public education measures to promote recycling, upcycling, sharing and donating items to keep the ‘too good to waste’ stuff out of landfills;
plans to organize curbside giveaway days annually; and is researching online tools for residents to access recycling and waste information with the click of a button;
Parks and Recreation plans to coordinate all divisions, including Marina, Visitor Center, Economic Development, Special Events and Facilities and collect used items of worth to display them at the Lou Jeffries Arena parking lot as part of the Town’s Curbside Giveaway Day.
Special Events and Economic Development plan to continue with their current practices and increase recycling.