Does Waste Management have a policy for recycling waste?

Waste Management has been at the forefront of waste diversion and recycling efforts in the National Capital Region. From the region’s first recycling program, to the proposed new program to reduce organics going to the landfill, Waste Management has been a leading proponent of diversion programs. At the same time, the company’s role in waste reduction and diversion is dependent on the requests of existing and potential customers, and the services they request.

New technologies – such as energy from waste projects – could increase waste diversion efforts and could improve the region’s waste management program. In line with the requests from the city to provide energy alternatives in the coming years, Waste Management is interested in considering options to a traditional landfill operation only

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What does Waste Management do to protect the environment?

At the Waste Management West Carleton Landfill, we routinely review all of our operations and environmental programs to identify preferred management practices and to ensure the company adheres to the principles of continuous improvement and prevention of pollution. We also maintain a training program to ensure each Waste Management employee has the skills and knowledge to ensure that environmental protection standards are observed and enforced at all times.

We are proud of our environmental initiatives. For more information, click here for our September 2007 Newsletter

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Do Canadians recycle?

Across Canada, recycling and waste diversion efforts are paying dividends. The average Canadian now recycles more than 112 kilograms annually, up from 71 kilograms in 2000. This increase – due in part to increased availability of recycling programs – helps keep more waste from entering landfills. Nearly 3.6 million tonnes of recycled material was diverted in 2004, according to Statistics Canada – an increase of 65 per cent in four years.

The majority of households in Canada's provinces that have access to community recycling programs use them, and in 2006, 93 per cent of Canadian households had access to recycling programs for at least one of glass, paper, plastics and metal.

In the National Capital Region, the addition of a program to divert organics will further reduce items going to the landfill, creating new opportunities for residents to reduce their waste.

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What do I do if my garbage and/or my recycling was not collected?

If your garbage or recycling was not collected and it was placed at the curb on the correct day and time, call 3-1-1 to report a missed collection.

To find out more: http://www.ottawa.ca/city_services/recycling_garbage/garbage/index_en.html

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What is the process if I require a new or replacement blue or black box?

If you are a new resident of City of Ottawa, call 3-1-1 for information on how to obtain your recycling boxes. If you need to replace a damaged recycling box, you can exchange it at no cost at many Rona and Home Hardware stores. Call 3-1-1 for information. Additional recycling boxes can be purchased at many Rona and Home Hardware stores - call in advance to inquire about supply and cost.

To find out more: http://www.ottawa.ca/city_services/recycling_garbage/recycling/new_box_en.html

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What materials are accepted for recycling?

In your Blue box

  • Glass: bottles and jars
  • Metal : metal cans; soft drink cans; aluminum containers; clean foil, empty paint cans with lids removed; spiral-wound canisters with metal ends such as frozen concentrate cans, Pringles containers
  • Plastic : plastic bottles; jars and jugs; tubs and tub lids such as yogurt, sour cream, hand cleaner, margarine containers; milk and juice cartons
  • Tetra Paks: drink boxes; soup boxes; milk boxes

Your blue box should not weigh more than fifteen (15) kg when full.

In your Black box

  • Newspaper and flyers
  • Magazines and catalogues
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Telephone books
  • Cereal and cracker boxes (liners removed)
  • Shoe and laundry detergent boxes
  • Fine paper such as writing paper, computer paper, paper pads, advertising mail
  • Hard and soft cover books
  • Paper egg cartons, toilet paper and paper towel rolls
  • Paper gift wrap, greeting cards
  • Clean paper shopping bags or paper packaging
  • Frozen dinner boxes
  • Pizza boxes (no pizza please!)
  • Frozen concentrate cans

Your black box should not weigh more than fifteen (15) kg when full.

To find out more: http://www.ottawa.ca/city_services/recycling_garbage/index_en.html

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What happens to blue and black box materials?

Once collected, plastics, metals, glass and paper products are sorted and sold to different companies in Ontario, Quebec and the U.S. Your old stuff becomes the raw materials for things we buy and use every day!

Plastic pop bottles, for instance, are transformed into plastic thread that can be turned into t-shirts and fleece fabrics. Old newspapers are made into new newsprint, paper egg cartons and home insulation. Corrugated cardboard is made into new boxes or paperboard. And high quality white office and computer paper is used in lots of new paper products - stationery, newsprint, and paper for magazines and books.

Cars have high-quality parts made of recycled materials too. Grill reinforcements, door padding and trunk trim are just a few parts made from recyclables.

The recyclables the City of Ottawa collects aren't just given away so that all this can happen. In 2005, recyclables were sold for an average of $120 per tonne, amounting to close to $8 million in revenue for the City of Ottawa.

Before being baled and sent to market, the material recovery facility must:

  • Remove contaminants
  • Screen out small fragments
  • Magnetically separate steel
  • Classify plastics and other light materials
  • Separate aluminum cans
  • Sort glass containers by colour

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What are the recycling code significations?

Plastic recycling can sometimes be misunderstood causing confusion and misuse. A great example of this are the little numbers with the arrows around them (below) on the bottom of many plastic containers.

Plastic Recycling Codes


PETE - Polyethylene Terephthalate
HDPE - High Density Polyethylene
PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride
LDPE - Low Density Polyethylene
PP - Polypropylene
PS - Polystyrene
Other - Other

This symbol is called an SPI Code (The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc.) and it identifies the most common plastic material used in the manufacturing process of a product or packaging. Unfortunately, this has little to do with whether or not the container is recyclable and often times ends up confusing people when it comes time to putting out their blue box plastic items.

Plastic products have different material density grades, which are not reflected in the SPI Code. For example, a plastic pop bottle and some food trays are both coded with a #1 PETE even though these two containers are not the same material. The pop bottle is made with a high-density #1 PETE while the food tray is made with a low-density #1 PETE.

The City of Ottawa's recycling program can only accept high-density plastic materials because at the present time there are no viable/sustainable markets for lower density plastics. In other words, no one has found a product to make out of the lower density plastics, therefore they cannot be recycled though the City's Blue Box Program.

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When is my recycling and garbage collection day?

Garbage day doesn't have to be complicated! To keep track of recycling weeks, yard waste collection days, household waste depot days, and even Christmas tree pickup days, the City prints a waste collection calendar each year and delivers it to every household in Ottawa.

To receive a hard copy, phone 3-1-1, or email the City of Ottawa at 311@ottawa.ca or pick up a calendar at any one of the City's Client Service Centres.

Or use the Calendar schedule available on the City of Ottawa Internet site: http://www.ottawa.ca/city_services/recycling_garbage/collection_calendar/index_en.html

More facts about recycling your waste

  • Recycled paper takes 70 to 90% less energy to make. It also helps save forests across the globe
  • When you compost your food scraps, grass clippings, leaves and other yard debris, you can cut your household garbage by up to a half
  • Canada produces the most waste per capita in the world
  • According to the Recycling Council of Ontario, the average Canadian throws away 1.8 kilograms of residential waste every day
  • According to a study conducted at the University of Waterloo’s WATgreen Program, North America has eight percent of the world’s population, consumes one third of the world’s resources, and produces one half of the world’s garbage
  • Canadians throw away 1.7 billion disposable diapers yearly, adding up to about 2.5 per cent of landfill waste
  • By packing your lunch in reusable containers. You will save approximately 45 per cent in expenses and produce 89 per cent less waste than packing lunches in single-use, disposable containers
  • Canadians take home over 55 million plastic shopping bags every WEEK! The majority of these eventually end up in landfill sites
  • Over 13 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered to Canadian mailboxes every year. That’s about 450 pieces for every person in your household
  • You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates

Source: www.climatecrisis.net and ecoactionteams.ca

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Why aren’t there any seagulls at the Waste Management West Carleton Facility?

Waste Management has developed and maintains an extensive bird control program to effectively and humanely scare birds away from the property. In 2006, a monitoring program numbered 25,000 gulls at the site. Today there are none. For more information, click here for our Site Improvements Fact Sheet.

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The site has a park like setting. How come?

As the industry leader in waste and environmental services, Waste Management is strongly committed to being responsible stewards of the environment. In 2006, the Waste Management West Carleton Facility received international recognition for its contribution to wildlife habitat conservation. Waste Management is the only waste management company to receive Wildlife Habitat Council certification. For more information, click here for our Wildlife Habitat Conservation Fact Sheet.

2007 was a busy planting year at the Waste Management West Carleton Facility. A major part of the site has been seeded and the poplar trees planted in 2006 have grown to nearly seven metres. For more information, click here for our September 2007 Newsletter.

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What is vermicomposting?

Standard composting is a natural process where kitchen and yard wastes decompose into a dark, nutrient-rich soil. Vermicomposting is the answer for those unable to access a backyard composting system on a daily basis.

Vermicomposting is simply composting with worms. The best earthworm to use is the red wriggler. These voracious garbage-eaters live in a heavy bin, surrounded by moistened bedding material. They eat food and yard waste daily and produce a rich, sweet-smelling vermicompost that can be used in the garden or in your houseplants.

More information about vermicomposting can be found at www.cathyscomposters.com. Composting worms can be ordered online at www.thewormfactory.ca

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