PICTOU COUNTY – While they may deal with waste daily, the latest addition to Pictou County Solid Waste may is anything but a waste of space.
Mason Fraser, left, throws some construction waste into a dumpster as compliance officer Leisa Stuart and Connor Kenney look on. There are six dumpsters at the new drop off bay: three for garbage, two for construction items and one for metal. JOHN BRANNEN – THE NEWS
That’s according to Carol MacKenzie, waste reduction program co-ordinator at PCSW. She said the new two week-old public dropoff is more efficient, user friendly and, most important, cuts down on the amount of waste going to landfills.
“Before the new dropoff, the public used the single window on the side of the sorting station,” noted MacKenzie. “Metal, wood and garbage would all go into the waste stream only to be sorted out by our staff later.”
Now, as you drive in to the facility, there are six spaces for cars or trucks to back into: three for garbage, two for construction items and one for metal. MacKenzie said the setup is also safer.
“We have large trucks moving into and around the sorting area and one drop off window hasn’t been ideal,” she noted. “A compliance officer is also there to help with sorting.”
Construction on the six dropoff bays started this past winter, funded by the municipalities, and the public started using the bays around two weeks ago.
“We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback from the members of the public,” said MacKenzie. “It’s helping us to meet our targets for less waste in Pictou County per person.”
The provincial government committed to a goal of 50 per cent waste diversion to reach a target for waste disposal of no more than 300 kilograms per person per year by the year 2015.
The diversion target was added to the Environment Act in 1996 and the 300 kg/person target in 2006. The province calculated that the average disposal rate was 401 kg/person in 2010.
“The more metal, wood and organic items we can remove from the waste stream the better, and we’ve made great strides in the past few years,” said MacKenzie.
She noted that multiple solutions are being explored to bring the metal to market and untreated wood into compost.
A pilot project with Tim Hortons has resulted in the ability to successfully compost paper cups with wax linings. This includes most fast-food restaurants’ hot and cold beverage cups.
“Our compostable organic waste sits in a vessel, a bed and then is eventually filtered,” said MacKenzie. “With some investigation, we were able to divert the cups from the waste stream and into compost.”
She noted that currently in Pictou County, you can throw your paper cup in the green bin and lid in the recyclable waste.
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