Niagara residents once again demonstrate strong recycling habits with more than 80 per cent of households regularly using their Blue and Grey boxes.
One of the strengths of the Niagara program is the diversity of recyclable materials accepted. In fact, Niagara Region has one of the longest running recycling programs in Ontario and we continue to accept some of the largest variety of recyclable materials in the province through our Blue and Grey box program.
Niagara has a two-stream system. With this system we keep containers and rigid plastic packaging in the Blue Box and paper, cardboard, stretchy plastic and plastic bags in the Grey Box. By asking residents to sort the materials before they are collected Niagara is able to maintain a low contamination rate, meaning that most of our recyclables end up making it to end markets, with less than 5 per cent needing to be sent to landfill.
By keeping recyclable materials properly sorted and minimizing contamination Niagara is able to generate revenue from the sale of recyclable materials. The sale of recyclables offsets the overall cost of all waste management programs.
Like all markets, the recyclable commodity market fluctuates. With the current state of the recyclable market it is even more important for residents to clearly understand the types of materials that go in the Blue and Grey boxes. In recent years, Niagara has had the third lowest program costs for our recycling program compared to similar sized municipalities.
Even in an efficient program with great participation rates there is always room for improvement. As new packing materials come into the market there is sometimes a challenge for consumers to figure out how to best dispose of them. To make sorting your materials as easy as possible Niagara Region provides an annual Collection Guide to all homes in Niagara as well as a comprehensive - Where does it go? - page on the Region's website to make it easy for find out where and how to dispose of almost any item.
For more information on recycling and waste management in Niagara visit niagararegion.ca/waste.
905-980-6000 ext. 3204